The Problem With “Instant” Home Valuations

Like you, we’ve getting bombarded lately with ads and postcards in the mail touting Instant Home Valuations.  All you have to do is enter some code or your address and maybe some details about your home, and you get an instant estimate of your home’s value.

What's My Home Worth

We’ll let you in on a little secret – most of these are just lead generation systems – and like the other sources of home values on the internet and elsewhere you have to take the results with a grain of salt.  Most of the systems pull their information from third-party sources and that information is often highly inaccurate.  Who hasn’t checked their home value on a major consumer website and thought wow, that’s not even close?

Even those that claim to pull their information from a MLS source don’t have to adhere to the rules of the particular MLS regarding the accuracy and use of the data.  Additionally, these websites do not take into account any damages or upgrades that have occurred since the last time that the home was appraised or sold. Even simple things like new paint and new carpet can increase the value of a home.

Any website promising an instant value based on an algorithm run off numbers can only go so far.  Homes are a market with lots of moving parts and local nuances that can’t be priced just looking at numbers.  Professional Realtors produce a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) because looking at properties in the local area that are listed, pending, recently sold, off-market/withdrawn/cancelled, expired, similar square footage, similar age of construction, similar amenities, upgrades and construction, and location, location, location is the best time-tested method for determining the market and potential appraised value of your home.

There are no shortcuts if you want the most accurate snapshot of the potential selling value of your home.  Contact a Real Estate Professional and get a CMA done.  There is no cost or obligation to you.  Now you could pay for an actual appraisal of your home but in the end the buyer/bank is going to get their own so we don’t recommend spending that money up front.  Realtor + Local Expertise + CMA = A Price that brings you what you need and will be attractive enough to attract your home’s new owner.


About CarolSawdey

I'm a Broker/Realtor in the San Ramon Valley. A trusted advisor in the local community: We help people buy and sell homes. We counsel them thoroughly. We negotiate to their advantage. We keep their stress to a minimum. And we love what we do!
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