John, Home Buyer in Alexandria, VA

What does the (Trulia Estimate) mean when clicking on properties? Is that your estimate of what the house is worth now? Why are some lower?

Asked by John, Alexandria, VA Tue Jan 22, 2013

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Robert Lepelletier’s answer
Dear John:

AVM (Automatic Valuation Methodes) use different algorithms to arrive at an average price. The asking price may depend on when the sellers purchased the property (did they buy during the real estate "bubble"), the upgrades installed, recent comps, etc. The AVMs could be "spot on" in a neighborhood of "cookie cutter" homes, but way off where the homes are dissimilar. (Frame versus brick, etc.)
If you're interested in purchasing a home, then you should use an agent or broker who has the ABR, i.e. the Accredited Buyers Representative designation. Having this certification means that the holder has not only taken the classes, but additionally has the transaction exerience in representing buyers.

Please let me know if I may be of further profesional assistance - Bob Lepelletier, REALTOR, GRI, ABR & SFR - Broker - Associate - Keller Williams Realty - Alexandria/Kingstowne Office 703-310-7880 and bob at bobtherealtor dot pro.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 22, 2013
You can't really place a value on a property that you've never laid eyes on, and since the computer models have no eyes...they can't give you a solid evaluation. They might have "blind luck" from time to time (as Robert the "cookie cutter" neighborhoods), but that's all it is. Do NOT place too much faith in them. That said, however, they are a decent place to START when evaluating value, just make sure you add and subtract value for differences between homes (ie: a pool will add value to the house that has it, and being really outdated will subtract value from a home)...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 4, 2013
I don't think it's a good idea to put much trust in automated estimates. They only claim to come within 5% to 10% of a purchase price, which is not particularly accurate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 4, 2013
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