I want to find out what my home is worth WITHOUT talking to a realtor.Can I find out my property value online?

Asked by Kelly, San Francisco Bay Area Mon Oct 15, 2007

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Jay Hurst, Agent, McLean, VA
Mon Oct 15, 2007
Kelly, there are a number of online sites that could help you with this. Trulia is not bad. You need to see what homes have sold for recently. That is what an appraiser will start with. They are called comps. Checking the local tax records is another source, but may take months to be updated.
Then, add or subtract for upgrades etc. It is somewhat of a guessing game without a Realtor, since they usually pay many fees each year to have these tools ready to help you.
4 votes
Richard M. J…, , Sherman Oaks, CA
Tue Oct 16, 2007
Hi Kelly! The best answer I can give you is to hire an appraiser. Another thing you can do is preview homes selling in your area which has the same specs as yours. After viewing about 5 homes, you'll know what most likely yours will sell for.
3 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Sat Nov 3, 2007
Sarah, I gave you a thumbs down for your statement
"Sounds like you've had a bad experience with REALTORS :-( "

There is nothing in any of Kellys 7 posted questions to imply that she had a bad experience with a Realtor.
I ask that all "pros" posting to Trulia, pause for a second when posting and ask themselves if their post reflects well on themselves and our industry. There are enough consumers who will make gratuitous and unfounded slams against Realtors without pros doing the same.

I repeat, there is nothing that consumer Kelly said in this questionor any of her other posts to imply a bad experience with a Realtor.
2 votes
Erin Stumpf…, Agent, Sacramento, CA
Mon Nov 5, 2007
I would pay for an independent appraisal if you want an accurate measure of your home's value and do not want to speak with an agent. Not sure about the bay area, but for Sacramento, I find that Zillow and Cyberhomes are generally really inaccurate.
Web Reference:  http://www.erinattardi.com
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Sun Nov 4, 2007
Why don't you want to talk to a realtor? They'll tell you how much they think it's worth for free.
1 vote
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Sun Nov 4, 2007
Two sources are cyberhomes.com and zillow.com. Neither source is completely accurate or any on line service but they will give you a rough idea. The more accurate option is a Realtor or an appraiser. Good luck Kelly.
Web Reference:  http://pamwinterbauer.com
1 vote
Mark Choey, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Fri Nov 2, 2007
Sure you can - you can just check what properties are selling for around your area that are like yours and find out what they SOLD for - this will require researching tax records online which can be done. You of course can use the Zillow's, Trulia's, and a whole host of other websites but unless your home / condo is very similar to others (like a home in a master planned community where all the homes are almost identical, etc.) you have to make adjustments and take the online price estimate with a grain of salt. Tax records cannot tell Zillow what view you have, what layout you may have, if you have 2 car parking, what floor your unit is on, the condition of your unit, the upgrades you have performed, etc. For that you need to make those judgments and adjust appropriately!

mark choey
senior sales associate
climb real estate group
> 415.630.0204 mobile
> 415.520.9808 fax
> mark@climbSF.com
1 vote
Sarah Hendee, , Arizona
Wed Oct 17, 2007
http://www.zillow.com is great to a certain degree. I really is best if you do speak to a REALTOR. It wouldn't cost you anything and you would get a much better price range.
Sounds like you've had a bad experience with REALTORS :-(

1 vote
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Mon Oct 15, 2007
I am wondering about your question. I reviewed your profile. You are asking a lot of questions that point to a person trying very hard to make the "right " decision. Am I correct?

If I were an acquaintence of yours, and you posed that question to me, I'd have to ask:
"Why do you need to know the value?"
And you'd answer.....something.....
And if you continued to be vague I'd tell you:
"If you want me to help you then you need to tell me why. There are different types of value."
Value by an appraiser
Fair market value
Salvage value
land value
replacement value (cost)

I agree with the other posts....what is your concern about asking a Realtor to provide you with some assistance?
We do it all the time.
1 vote
Jean Powers, Agent, Castro Valley, CA
Mon Oct 15, 2007
Why don't you want to consult a Realtor? We do not bite we are here to help. Some of us really do want to help buyers and sellers without being pushy. Call one of us for help.
1 vote
Liz Stevens, , Berkeley, CA
Mon Oct 15, 2007
Michelle (below) has a good point. You can, if you wish, consult Zillow.com for a "zestimate" which is based on Public Records. This tells you value like an appraiser would - based on history of closed sales in your neighborhood. It does not take into consideration the "Present" market. Call a Realtor. You have no obligation, and a good one will be glad to provide you with an accurate estimate of value. Liz Stevens
1 vote
Michelle Car…, Agent, Coppertino, AL
Mon Oct 15, 2007
There's a simple solution-offer to pay an agent for their time to give you a no-obligation analysis.

Alternately, you can pay for an independent appraisal. But appraisals can be "off" on value, too.

So the question is why do you want to know? Curiousity? Have a potential Buyer? In foreclosure? Wanting to get a private loan? An excellent agent will keep your info CONFIDENTIAL.

However, think for a minute--who is most likely to know the true value of your home? The agents who've sold homes in the area and work with Buyers in your area.
1 vote
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Mon Oct 15, 2007
Of course you can. You can look at Zillow, or Trulia or any number of other sites that take public record (tax info) and will give you a number.
The real question is what do you want to do with the number, see if the price offered on ebay is right?
Did you have a bad experience with a Realtor? Talking with isn't that bad! In fact everyday I talk to lots of people about real estate that enjoy my focus and expertise.
I had a bad experience with a dentist once but that doesn't mean I'll never see another dentist, I just won't see that one again.
If you want to know the market value of your home talk to someone that is familiar with your area, can recognize the improvements you've made and most important has experience marketing and negotiating large complex transactions.
1 vote
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Auburn, CA
Mon Oct 15, 2007
Hi Kelly. Since you seem to be determined to sell your house yourself, I can appreciate you not wanting to talk to a real estate professional as that would waste the agent's time. From your previous post, I gather that you have an agent who you worked with who is helping you find a new house. If you are still working with that agent, I don't see why you should not try to get help from him or her in establish fair market value for the house you are selling on your own. After all, the agent will benefit from you being able to sell as you most likely will have to sell your current home to be able to buy your next home.
If you are no longer working with an agent to help you find your new home, I am afraid you make it unnecessarily difficult for yourself by trying to determine the fair market value without talking to an agent. Real estate agents have access to the most up-to-date market information. There's no website that can offer the kind of information that you need to establish fair market value. Sites like Zillow and Trulia get their information from public records that often are outdated by the time they become available and the sales data does not make the necessary adjustments for property features. Like with everything in life, all things are not equal and real estate is no exception to that rule. Sorry I don't have the magic answer for you. I am wondering why you are so reluctant to get help from a professional. Are we real estate agents really so intimidating?
Web Reference:  http://www.theMLShub.com
1 vote
Infinity Rea…, , Saratoga, CA
Mon Oct 15, 2007
Depends how accurate you want the value to come in. There are websites that you can use, but they are only taking into account part of the whole picture. In my opinion contact a realtor over the internet through email and haev them give you a CMA. If your worried about a sales person bugging you. Email is an easier option,

But there is no way around it, specially in a sensative market like today's the Real estate proffesionals are the best bet.
1 vote
Cindy Levule…, , Chico, CA
Wed Oct 17, 2007
You can try cyberhomes.com and get a general value, however, a realtor can give you a more realistic value. They know what is selling currently! Most online venues can only guess at the current value.
0 votes
Steve, , 32818
Wed Oct 17, 2007
Zillow.com is good. Another option is to look for the property appraiser / tax collector in the town you live in. Then look up the assessed value of your property. This is what appraisers do. (In a nutshell)
Web Reference:  http://zoglist.com
0 votes
Marlene Brid…, Agent, Laguna Woods, CA
Mon Oct 15, 2007
Kelly - You can certainly search online to see what homes have sold for in the past few months. You can also see what the asking prices are on the homes in your area. But, unless you are able to personally see each of the homes similar to yours in an area, you may be just spinning in circles.

I'm not certain why you wouldn't want to talk with a REALTOR if you are considering selling your home. If you are simply curious and have no intention of selling and just want a general idea, why not give the local agent (who sends you information in the mail and probably drops off calendars and notepads on your doorstep) a call. They'd be more than happy to give you a few minutes of their time to just give you a general ballpark idea of what your home is worth.
0 votes
Brandon C. P…, , 30052
Mon Oct 15, 2007
You are talking to Realtors now....customer service and making new friends are what Realtors are all about. You should talk to family or friends who have dealt with a good Realtor recently and give them a call. Most of the time there is no obligation and no cost to you for this service and you will have a professional opinion for your peace of mind.
0 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Mon Oct 15, 2007
I can't imagine how, unless you know how to do comps. Iff a house has sold near you, that is like yours, you can get that information from the public record. Of course a professional's opinion on whether prices have gone up or down in the meantime would be invaluable. Agents know trends. We know what houses are like others that have sold. For example, I sold a home a year and a half ago for 650,000. 6 mos later the identical home on a comparable street sold for 620000, and recently the same exact home is listed at 599,000 and is going nowhere. Why wouldn't you want a professional's opinion? I would add that most homeowners think their house is better than homes we consider identical, for reasons that have nothing to do with value (I just put in a new driveway, I just got granite ccountertops). Unless you've been following trends for years and can put your ego aside, and look objectively at your own house, you aren't going to come up with the right nunber.
I'd add, forget about zillow. They pick up property transfers and refis, but refis are notoriously high, and transfers don't tell you if a relative bought the house or what the condition is.
0 votes
ian cockburn, Agent, New Orleans, LA
Mon Oct 15, 2007
Each home is different. Be very cautious of anyone who claims they can get you an "average" value of your home...for the attention to the details is what counts.
You can spend $400 for an appraisal to get a good idea what it is worth, but that is still an opinion,
or you can use a Realtor. Property valuation can not be truly ever done on a computer unless that computer can take all the data known to man, and then crawl around your home, and check out your bathrooms and kitchen, and look for cracks in the ceiling and other miscellaneuos cracks in the street/slab, etc. Some things in life will always have to be done by humans. Pick a good one with the "R" behind their name.
Web Reference:  http://www.iansellsnola.com
0 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Mon Oct 15, 2007
NO. You can not get a realistic valuation without the work of a professional, either a Realtor or an appraiser.

YES - you can get some sort of a number by searching internet sites and databases. Online evaluations might be an Okay starting place to find the broad value RANGE. I recommended you don't give out your personal information though,


Most "online" valuation offers are marketing lead engines for web companies to sell your name and contact information to Realtors to solicit you for a direct market analysis leading to a potential listing.

Why not go direct to a Realtor rather than make him or her pay for the OPPORTUNITY to give you free service?
0 votes
Pete Sabine, Agent, Martinez, CA
Mon Oct 15, 2007
Kelly, beware of Zillow and sites like Zillow. You can access recent real estate sales data but its very one dimensional and will not tell the complete story in why one property can be worth more or less than another nearby property. A seasoned real estate professional or real estate appraiser can assist you in accurately interpreting real estate sales data to get the true picture of fair market value for your property.
0 votes
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