Automated home valuations have been made popular by the Zillow real estate website, however, there are many other home valuation websites available to the consumer as well. We decided to continue our investigation using the property from our previous blog post (4730 Spring Creek Drive, Excelsior, MN). Is it possible to get an accurate home valuation without the help of a licensed real estate agent?
In our previous test, Zillow gave us a home value of $838,165 for the subject property, which as we pointed out had just sold for $550,000. Instinct tells us that the fair market value of this house is closer to $550,000.
A Google search for the term “Home Value” turned up a number of alternatives to Zillow. The first results was for the Chase Mortgage Home Value Estimator. We decided to give it a try. The first thing we noticed that we really like is you have the option of changing the values for # of bedrooms, # of bathrooms, total rooms, square footage and year built. The home valuation estimator then modifies the valuation based on the inputs. It’s pretty common for there to be errors in the data, so the ability to make adjustments is important to determine the fair market value of the property. Leaving the values as-is, the Chase Mortgage Home Value Estimator gave us a value of $557,000 for the property. We think this is pretty close, based on the recent sale price. Another feature we like is it gives the details for the homes used to determine the value.
The Redfin tool for determining the value of your house doesn’t allow for adjustments to the property like the Chase tool. Instead, you simply enter the property address and Redfin gives you an estimate. In this case, the Redfin tool estimates that the house is worth $591,267. Again, this information seems to be much closer to reality than the Zillow tool. We like that Redfin shows us the details for the recent homes that have sold in the area. We can compare for ourselves if we think the comparable homes are similar to the subject property or if an adjustment should be made.
The RE/MAX home value estimator doesn’t seem as complex as the other options we’ve looked at. With the RE/MAX tool, you enter the address and it gives you an estimate without the ability to make any adjustments. In the case of our test property, the value returned was $550,000, exactly the recent sale price. I guess, that might be accurate. The home only sold a few months ago in Excelsior, MN where home prices are relatively flat. Of course, if you used a local real estate agent, they would have a better sense of local market conditions and could provide the most accurate estimate of value.
It doesn’t come as a surprise to most people that the most accurate home valuation is going to come from a local real estate agent who specializes in the area where the home is located. Local real estate agents spend their days going in and out of local houses throughout the neighborhood. A computer analyzes the values based solely on numbers such as square feet, lot size, age of the house, etc. Only a real estate agent who has been through local homes knows if a house was trashed inside, had a pest infestation, had a bad floor plan, was updated or still looked like it was from the 1950’s. A local real estate agent knows that sometimes a house located three or four blocks from the subject property might be in a less desirable neighborhood and that could drastically impact the value. It is difficult for a computer algorithm to understand these nuances.
We noticed that our Google search for the term “home value”
Published in Tags: Chase Homes home value Redfin referz home value Referz.com Zillow