Trusted by borrowers
Call Now 949-484-6322
Free Workshops

Are Online Home Valuations Accurate?

Date: 01/29/2016        [ Go Back ]

The short answer is NO.

But say you want to sell your home. OR you want to BUY a home! Either way, you’ll want to know the real value of the home.

Where can you go for a quick answer?

Look up “Online Home Valuations” in Google. You’ll return almost 82 million (!) results. That’s good. Right? WRONG. What it means is that there are millions of people all over the earth that would like to tell you your home’s value. Really? Do they live here? Do they know that the school district used to be good three years ago, but it’s gone downhill? Do they know the neighborhood park is adding two tennis courts and a basketball court?

There are three major categories of online home valuations websites:

1. Banks and credit unions (Chase, B of A, F & M, Wells Fargo, etc.)
2. Real estate brokerage firms
3. Non-brokerage companies like Zillow (“Zestimate”), Trulia, Realestate, Redfin, etc.

THEY ALL WANT YOUR BUSINESS. SO BE CAREFUL!

It is okay to use all of these services to get a SENSE of what you can SELL your house for. BUYERS can use these services to get a SENSE of what they should buy a house for.

But…DO NOT USE any ONE of these services all by themselves. EVER.

(Even the brokerage firms or banks.)

Radio talk show host Kim Komando suggests using these sources for research. We urge you to use the data in conjunction with real estate people in your area, and with experts in the field of finance, interest rates, home values and more (like the Mortgage Fee Coach) because YOUR HOME IS THE LARGEST PURCHASE YOU WILL EVER MAKE.

Find quality resources you honestly believe in.

You can stop reading here, but the rest of this email is AWESOME.

* * * * * * * * *

The Online Experience

From many of these online companies, you will receive a market price estimate from a fancy algorithm (cool word, right?) such as an Automated Valuation Model (AVM). They’re averages. Numbers crunched by big computers without eyeballs. And the goal of Zillow or Redfin is to direct online viewers to their websites so you will purchase their services. Check out their sites but don’t sign up for anything! Another site — the National Association of Realtors (NAR) provides great data and analysis that you can use to understand homes in more detail than ever before.

Dirty Details

If you use one of the millions of online services such as Zillow’s Zestimate or Redfin to provide a value for your home, note that their estimate might be as much as 20% different than the real value of the home.

   - Redfin pegged its median (half higher, half lower) error rate for off-market homes at 6.23%.

   - Zestimate puts its national median error rate for off and on-market properties combined at 7.9%.

Most Accurate Valuation

Contact a realtor, have them search for comparable sales in the last 3 months in your area that are similar to your home. Between reviewing these sales, the demand versus supply and your home's positives and negatives, you will derive the most accurate value. The only way to confirm the value is listing it and allowing a buyer to offer a price for it. Then, you will know the true value.

DAN STONE


Do you need a great real estate agent? I know a few great agents.

Wondering if you should refinance or considering buying a home? I know great lenders with spectacular rates!

CALL ME: 949-484-6322 The First 15 Minutes is FREE