The answer to your question of do the estimators reflect lower or higher than market values...is YES. It's frustrating enough for a Realtor to not be able to rely on them, so it must be worse for you.
I feel that the online estimators are kind of like gossip magazines. They're just for fun. The one I use if I'm going to use one is http://www.eppraisal.com
Your best bet is to have a Realtor check on the actual comparable sales and weed out the ones that were grant deeds over to a family member, etc. Those can really mess up the comp pricing and is sometimes why the online estimators aren't accurate.
An appraiser is the one that can give you the "official" value, but you have to pay for that. Find a good Realtor that knows what they're doing and work with them to get your values as close to actual as possible.
Let me know if I may be of assistance.
It really depends on your home and if you have made any upgrades or what kind of condition it is in. Online home value estimators will not be 100% correct, if you are wanting to know what you could list your home for on the current market for it would be a good idea to contact a real estate agent to give you a CMA
( comparable market analysis) on your home to see what other homes similar to yours is selling for. With a CMA you go back 6 months and compare the "solds" and "pending" homes to see what they sold for. A CMA is usually free to you and gives you a general idea of what you are looking at for home value. As far as giving you a higher-than-market value VS a Lower-than-market value it goes on what you describe your home as and if you have any upgrades ect. All value estimators are generally the same, what I would suggest doing is trying 2 or 3 and compare to what your results are. Good luck and I hope I answered your questions appropriately.
While these sites can provide a very general idea, the price really depends on condition and the current market price for your particular type of home in its location. This simply cannot be automated. In this market, it is not unlikely to have a $50K to 100K delta with similar homes on the same street. We therefore have to spend time distilling the data before we arrive at a marketable price. I always encourage folks to have their home evaluated by and in-home visit by our office or another qualified Realtor.
This is the truest way to understand the price of your home.
Let us know if we can help you further.
"Rocky" G.H. Hawrysz
Broker Associate, REALTORÂ®, e-ProÂ®
Prudential California Realty
If you are serious about Real Estate and accurate valuations you must be working with a licensed Realtor/Appraiser â€“ there are just too many variables that go into valuation.
Not convinced? Consider this:
Back in January of 2008 I watched an interview with Lloyd Frink (Zillow Pres). Here are some FACTS communicated during the I-view:
Zillow had just finally officially exited out of "beta" mode. Zillow had changed their appraisal algorithms to be more localized in nature. To measure accuracy of their algorithms Zillow looks over the last 3 mos and compares their Zesstimate to actual sales price. And, here's what they found:
a) Median accuracy (described as the number separating the higher half of a sample from the lower half) was 8.8% of selling price. Note: this is NOT and average accuracy.
b) 25% of Zesstimates were within 5% of selling price, 50% within 10%, and 75% within 20%â€¦...which I suppose means that 25% are within 80%?
For me, this interview cleared up why there was so much â€œplayâ€ in Zillowâ€™s accuracy.
A Comparative Market Analysis by a Realtor will be much more accurate.
Thats a good question. Unfortunately it is impossible for online sites like Trulia or Zillow to account for every sale or every nuance of a sale. Their information is based on Internet Data Exchange records which can be less than reliable. However, If you are looking for a general ballpark number on a valuation for a home, these sites can be very valuable.
Regarding the second part of your question, there is no general rule on whether a web estimator typically over or under-values properties; I have seen both many times.
The best idea for you is to hook up with a trusted and reliable realtor in the neighborhood you like and have him prepare a comparative market analysis for the home in question. Your realtor will be able to compile data from the MLS, county records and fellow realtors who may have been involved in the sale of comps to provide you with a very accurate valuation analysis.
Let me know if you need a good realtor in your neighborhood and I will do my best to help you out.
All the best,
Broker, Howard Chase Real Estate, LLC
Miami Beach, FL
The reason for this is these resources generally do not have the capability to make the distinction between a good or a bad comparison property. The information used is usually taken from a geographical area that makes little to no distinction between a high end gated community and a mobile home park, a desirable neighborhood or a corporate location, and ends up with skewed information that is unreliable at best.
You have certainly started a good conversation about companies trying to estimate price via a very, very, very large scale.
I know that I put a lot of time and effort when I go to value a property. I now I would never give an estimate before I actually view the property myself... So many factors are involved.... What is in the house? where is it located? and a million other things go into it..... But to say the estimate of every property in the us without seeing it, knowing all the factors is impossible... It would be like me going into heart surgery, because I read the manual how to do so.... Just doesn't work.....
You need to have a local, experienced Realtor make the call because they work the area everyday, they know what sells and what doesn't... they know a perfectly staged home will bring more money, they know a dump when they see one too.
So, How can a computer give you an accurate number? they cant...
Hope this helps a little as you a getting lots of comments
Best of luck!