Automated Value Models: How to Best Utilize

In Sellers by Doug Phelps

Online Real Estate Estimates

Many buyers and sellers begin their real estate intelligence gathering by turning to today’s internet services such as Zillow, Trulia, REcolorado and others. Online price estimates are little more than an algorithm’s best guess. With potentially thousands of dollars at stake in a home sale, relying solely on this information can be a costly mistake.

Online estimates provide only a broad guideline, and should be contrasted with other resources. Here’s why:

Home value websites provide estimates based on available public data.

Unfortunately, the data shows just a portion of the picture. The stats in the public record won’t reflect things such as remodeling, condition, views, landscaping, remodeling, curb appeal, room sizes, basement finishes, fine fixtures, access, neighbors, odors, and the owner’s decorating taste. All these are human factors that comprise a good chunk of a home’s value.

Want to really know what your home is worth in the current market? Have me or another local real estate agent do a comprehensive market analysis of area homes most like yours. Or, if you are so inclined, have a professional appraiser evaluate your property.

Any online real estate estimates should be viewed as only a tool, a beginning point. It won’t be accurate enough. Every one of them will recommend a detailed analysis by a real estate professional.