Terry Farnsworth, Broker, Crystal Lake, IL Molly,
Please do not trust an online estimate as a definitive valuation - regardless of the website. Review enough of these generic valuations, and you'll find that they can vary by as much as 40-50k, and sometimes more. Additionally, these websites have no idea of the condition of the property. Whether the walls of the property are mold-ridden and there are holes in the roof, or if it's been completely rehabbed with top of the line materials - these estimate don't change or account for it in terms of value.
Would you blindly trust one of these sites when pricing your home, or putting in an offer on one - knowing that there is a chance you are under or overvaluing the property by even 10K? I hope not.
I've found that people tend to "trust" these valuations when it's in their favor to do so (i.e. they want to sell and the estimates tell them it's worth more than the professionals do), but discount them when it's not (property is estimated below what they want to list it for).
Please contact a few real estate agents in your area, if you want an accurate valuation of your property's value based on recent comparable sales.... more
There are certainly many inputs into a sale price and the affect of the past several years declining market. The homes that tend to be most affected are in the top brackets and the lowest. In the top brackets many sellers have grown impatient and are anxious to move on. In the lower price ranges, foreclosures are taking their toll on market value. In the specific case of a house selling for $105K in 2005, that house is probably valued at about $95K by today's market. Remember, every buyer wants a "steal".... more