Everything You Need To Know About Home Valuation Websites


Find Out What Your Home Is Worth With Just One Click

Knowing the value of a home is essential for potential homeowners and homeowners looking to sell or refinance. However, going through a home appraisal will cost you both time and money, with the average cost being around $250 to $500. Scheduling also taking days, sometimes weeks, to set up. Luckily there are various home valuation websites available that provide free home estimates—all you need to do is type in your address. However, it’s important to keep in mind they are just that: estimates. Here’s all the important information you need to know about home valuation websites. SEE ALSO: 5 Renovations That Kill Your Property Value

Estimates Are Determined By Constantly Changing Data

A home’s value is determined by a number of factors – location, lot size, improvements that have been made, the value of surrounding homes in the neighborhood, even future development in the area. These websites strive to ensure that their home estimates are fresh and reliable by rapidly collecting statistics based on public documents, and continually updating their databases. Despite all their hard work, though, they are still far from perfect, giving what should only be seen as a ballpark figure. However, these estimates are a good starting off point, especially if you compare multiple assessments at the same time. So, unless you don’t mind shelling out a few hundred bucks on a more accurate appraisal, there’s no harm in giving these sites a try and seeing where you land.

Your Website Choices

As mentioned earlier, there are numerous websites that offer free, one-click home estimates. The two most popular website options are:

Real Estate Database Websites:

Websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com are popular when determining home valuations, most likely due to the convenience of other features available on the sites. Whatever the case, the accuracy of the estimates these sites provide are fairly wide. To put it more in perspective, a three bedroom, two bath, 1,800 square foot home recently sold in Fullerton, California for $575,000. Zillow estimated the home around $607k, while Trulia had it at $552k. Although these sites advertise a low error margin (around seven percent) their estimates are dependent on documents that may take as long as five or more years to update.

Bank Home Estimators:

Some national banks also provide free home valuation estimators on their websites. You can find these estimators in the mortgage section of the sites of popular banks like Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank. Again, the accuracy of these bank estimates vary, as they use the same information sources as the real estate database websites, and actually come with disclaimers noting the fact. They do, however, also provide links and other resources for those interested in getting more precise home appraisals through the bank. It’s Better To Utilize As Much Information As Possible The more insight you have, the better off you’ll be. A wide range of opinions can help you arrive at a more specific value. Also, compare these prices with other data, like the value of recently sold houses or houses currently on the market in the area, and adjust your numbers accordingly. Home prices are constantly fluctuating, so make you take advantage of every source you can find to keep up with the most current and accurate numbers. SEE ALSO: Can Home Automation Increase Your Home Value? Ultimately though, values are determined by whatever amount the next seller will accept, and what the next buyer is willing to pay. It’s smart to use as many resources as you can, but remember, always trust your own instincts. Valuations are estimates, not approximate calculations. If you are interested in finding out a more accurate value of your home, however, your best bet is to get your home appraised by a licensed appraiser.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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