It would be great if that were true. Very simply explained, an actual appraisal has to identify "like" properties, ideally within 1 mi of the subject property, sold within last 3 months, with similar BR/BA configuration. Then the comparable properties are "adjusted" compared to the subject property (in this case yours) for features. The composite average, weighted,etc. of the comparables forms your "value". It's really an art with a lot of guidelines and requires some skill. The problem with Trulia and Zillow is that they aren't evaluating and interpreting the comparables as to their "likeness" to yours.
For example, if there is a new gated development across the street from an older neighborhood, those homes might form part of the value on a machine, but really wouldn't be "comparable".
You didn't mention why you were looking at value, but a good Realtor should be able to get a pretty good idea of real comparables if you needed them. And I'd be happy to refer someone I think can do a good job on that.
If you're thinking about refinancing, we have an inexpensive desk review if we can't determine if it's close enough. And I'd be happy to help you with that.
If you're just cruising around, enjoy the possibility it might be true. But in general in a good market, typical property appreciation is high at 5%, so the likelihood is slim.
Best wishes, Catherine
Donâ€™t get me wrong, for a free ballpark value it is ok. Just know it is not considered accurate or up-to-date by those in the RE industry. If you want a more accurate number, a local Realtor can do a CMA (Competitive Market Analysis), look at recent sold comps in your subdivision & etc. Or you can pay for an appraisal but that will cost you about $400.
I have answered this question a lot on Zillow.com boards, many homeowners are worried cause the site says their house is worth considerably less than what they bought it for. I have to wonder if sites like this cause more damage than good. I blogged about it recently on Trulia.com, including the link below.
Best of luck.
So online values are not worth anything.
My own home does not have the 900sq ft addition- of course I did not let my County know either as my Taxes would go up.
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Evan Harris, REALTOR
Over 340 successfully sold properties!
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
To obtain the most accurate home values it's best to meet with a real estate agent who can discuss a comparative market analysis with the most up-to-date data.
Trulia and Zillow are not as accurate as they are not local nor do they have the capability to compare apples to apples.
I would not base your home's value solely from what you see on these sites but seek out a local agent for a free consultation.
Good luck to you!
Prudential Connecticut Realty