If you are looking for a Home Value Estimator, you are likely thinking of selling your home. Over the last ten years our real estate market saw the high and the low on a wild roller coaster, and it’s not as easy for home owners to keep tabs on the value of their real estate. It’s understandable that many of you go searching for a Home Value Estimator to try to at least get an idea of your homes value. Some of you just want to know if you are still upside down or have enough equity to sell and get out from the high cost of living in your current home.
You’re Not Ready For a Realtor
Home owners looking for a Home Value Estimator are not ready for a Realtor. I get it! Typically once you raise your hand and engage the insight of a Realtor, you feel your anonymity is lost and now you’re going to be pushed and pushed until you list your home. The internet makes it simpler these days to retain your anonymity by using an online Home Value Estimator.
The important thing to remember is that Home Value Estimators are providing you numbers based on data. It’s a computer algorithm that will extract information from public records, sold homes in proximity to your home, perhaps active listings close by. Think of it as an E-Valuation rather than evaluation. Only a Realtor can fine tune a home estimate after seeing a home with eyes. Even a Realtor home value estimate without a visit to a home will be a range based on data and nearby home sales.
Which Home Value Estimator To Use?
Likely most readers of this post will know about the Zestimate. So I am not even going to link to them, you all know how to find them.
Here’s an interesting factoid. When buyers start looking for homes they will on average visit 4 or 5 real estate web sites to look at homes. Home sellers are likely going to want to do the same. Compare and contrast is something we were taught to do in Math class. We need to prove the answer, right?
Here are a few alternative Home Value Estimator web sites you can consider.
- http://www.realestate.com/homevalues/ I like this one for speed. (this link no longers works it appears the function is no longer in use – sorry). As long as it can find your address it returns an answer pretty fast. It even maps out the comparable listings it has selected so you can be the judge of suitability or not. You are not required to give any information either, perfect to keep your online anonymity alive and well.
- How about a bank?http://realestatecenter.bankofamerica.com/tools/marketvalue4.aspx is another that gives an instant answer. Give it a go, I would bet my breakfast the comparable homes it uses will be different to the first set using the previous Home Value Estimator.
- http://www.eppraisal.com/ is another and yes this Home Value Estimator will provide you another valuation amount. A little more advertising going on with this web site but you still do not have to sign up to get the information.
As I visited each of these three sites I tested my home and got three different answers. However they were very similar. It would be fair to say I got an idea of my homes value from each easy to use Home Value Estimator.
By the way, there’s another one provided to us as Realtors. It does pull slightly better data because it is directly accessing the MLS.
Tip: Not every Home Value Estimator will actually give you a valuation number. Many just provide the data for you to interpret. Look for homes sold in your neighborhood or close by. Within 1 mile is ideal.
What To Do With Your Home Value Estimate
Locally I consider the numbers for my property to be good enough to give me an idea of what my property might sell for. I have a range of prices. (Of course I know my home’s estimate but it was a good test each home value estimator to see how close or far off they were).
However it’s not true in all areas of the country. There can be some wild swings in valuations. Fortunately, if you do experience something like that, I think you’re savvy enough to realize it’s a little off base. Maybe a lot!
Use your online Home Value Estimator as a guideline. It might help you for refinancing a mortgage but the loan company will want an appraisal. It might give you a sigh of relief knowing you are close to being the right way up again. You might be able to see you are in positive equity. It gives you a starting point for a future sale.
Moving Forward – What’s Your Plan?
If you are using a Home Value Estimator for knowledge and are not thinking of selling, do not revisit the “program” too often to get an update. Here in the Midwest our weather contributes to the ups and downs of home values. I suggest going back once a quarter to see what has changed. Use the same home value estimator you used for the first one. Compare apples to apples.
If you are in the market to sell there may be a lot for you to do before you’ll be ready for marketing a home. Here are some of the most commonly needed things to do before listing a home. Although written for listing in summer, the ideas are pretty much the same.
We are now in November and Thanksgiving is next week! I hope you are busy gathering your groceries for a Thanksgiving meal, I know I am! Christmas is then just 4 weeks away. Here in Barrington we are also seeing an early winter blast! All that aside, if you are considering selling in 2015, now is the perfect time to start your preparation. Give yourself time to get it all done before you list for sale. In the long run it’s worth the effort.
When you are ready to move beyond a Home Value Estimator and get a fine tuned home estimate, give us a call at 847.363.3686. Or go to our home value request form and tell us about your home and an idea of when you are ready to list it for sale. Ready to list NOW? OK let’s get started, fill in our form below and we’ll be in contact right away.