Picture this…
There’s an inexperienced Real Estate agent in your town. He hasn’t sold any homes yet. He wants to drum up some business. So, he climbs up onto your roof and paints what he estimates to be the value of your home. He feels like this could be a win-win: YOU get to know the value of your house, so he was helpful to you, without even having to meet with him… and HE gets to show you how that he knows his stuff. Hopefully you’ll turn to him for help once you want to sell your home.

But you’re kind of ticked off, aren’t you? First off, this guy painted on your roof. That’s just vandalism. Beyond that, he wasn’t even close to accurate! The value he painted up there is tens of thousands of dollars off and on display for all the world to see!

Here are 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Let a Website Tell You Your Home’s Value:

1) They place a value on your home without ever even seeing inside of it!  How can that possibly be accurate?

2) They use public data rather than an actual evaluation to come up with their estimates.

3) Their estimates are all over the place – some high, some low, and once in a while even in the right ballpark.

4) Home buyers often base their opinions of your home’s value on the number given by Zillow, even if it isn’t accurate. Then, they use this number when making an offer on your home.

5) An arbitrary “value” is out there on the Internet, floating around as space junk, for anyone to see, for whatever reason they feel like.

6) They are not experts in your local market.

7) They even post disclaimers about their accuracy (or lack thereof), at least if you really, really look for them.

 

The thing is, these sites exist because people tend to like them, and look at them. They wouldn’t exist if people didn’t continue to click on them. But people do.  They certainly are convenient, and entertaining, even if they are not accurate.

Many people just don’t want to deal with Real Estate agents, until and unless they have to. But that’s actually what you should be doing if you want an accurate value of your home.  Great Real Estate agents take a lot of time and pride in estimating the value of a home. This is not something you can do remotely by simply reviewing public data and algorithms.  In order to be accurate, even a local real estate agent needs to see inside of your home.

So, instead of encouraging these online valuation sites to exist, by visiting their sites and clicking around…click on a local real estate agent’s site, and invite him or her in to take a look at your house, and come up with an accurate value. And, whenever possible, spread the word about the inaccuracy of these sites because they can affect the perceived value of your home and beyond. They will exist as long as people continue to pay them any attention.