Debra Lynn Leavings, Realtor®
713-472-3929
RE/MAX Generation
8650 N. Sam Houston Pkwy E., #170
Humble, TX 77396

Which Home Evaluation Tool Should You Use?

Follow Up Your Online Home Evaluation With A Conversation With A Great Realtor®

If you are ready to sell your home, follow up your online evaluation with a conversation at 713-352-3305.

Selling your current home, so you can move into your dream home? In assessing your options and financial resources, one of the first things you want to know is how much your current home is worth. To assist you, most real estate agents like myself offer a home valuation right on the website. In addition, there are many other online resources that can provide you with a basic idea of how much your home is likely to sell for. All these tools, which are based on computer models, as well as public data and proprietary information, are helpful, but when you are selling your home, you need the advice of an experienced real estate professional.

Popular Home Valuation Tools

Aside from tools on agent websites, there are seven major tools available to you when you want to process your home value. These are:

Zillow: Calling the number they arrive at a ‘Zestimate’, Zillow is the pioneer in providing consumers with a tool to estimate value. They continue to refine their tool.

Redfin: A new tool, Redfin shows you pictures and information about the homes in your area that they use to derive a value for your home.

ForSaleByOwner.com: Employing a tool called Pricing Scout that utilizes regression analysis and comparative market analysis, this FSBO site shows you the prices that comparable homes in your neighborhood have brought.

Chase: The Chase tool allows you to input information about your current home and if you made certain improvements. You also receive information on sales trends in your neighborhood and about recently sold homes.

Bank of America: The BOA version of a home valuation tool shows comparable sales in your neighborhood and provides a range of values.

Surefield: To determine the potential value of your home, the application allows you to exclude specific comps that could skew the value of homes in your neighborhood.

eppraisal.com: Using data from public records, this tool list recently sold nearby homes.

Which Tool Should You Use?

All of these tools are useful, but if you try them, you’ll find that the values they suggest vary widely. The Zillow tool, for example, has an error rate of 7.9% nationally, but the rate varies by location. Most of the tools are more accurate in metropolitan areas with a heavier concentration of homes and more sales.

According to a recent article by Teresa Mears, the data shows that a two bedroom, two bath tract home in suburban Fort Lauderdale varies between a low of $125,500 on ForSaleByOwner.com to a high of $162,237 on Zillow. A one bedroom, one bath home in Kansas City, Missouri can range in value from a low of $71,790 on eppraisal.com to $122,750 on ForSaleByOwner.com. A home in a trendy neighborhood of Los Angeles might sell for just $665,500 on ForSaleByOwner.com or up to $1,020,700 on Bank of America. In any area of the country, you might find the same results among total valuation sites.

As Chief Analytics Officer of Zillow Stan Humphries quoted in the Mears article puts it “Opinions of value, there are a lot of them. If you were to sell the same house 100 different times with different buyers and sellers, it would close at a different price.” All the neighborhood data in the world can’t account for how buyers react to a particular home at a particular time.

Working With A Real Estate Agent

Even if you talk to several real estate agents, you may get a different number about the value of your home. The reason for this is that estimating home value is not an exact science. If you compare your home with others that have recently sold, what is truly comparable about the properties? When you talk to a real estate agent who is familiar with selling in a particular geographic area, you have to depend on his or her expertise to arrive at a reasonable starting point for the price.

Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, which recently launched a home valuation tool, righty says that computerized estimates are “the beginning of a conversation” with a trusted real estate agent, “not the end. Many times the asking price of a home is the result of a fairly tense conversation between the owner of the home and the agent who is trying to sell it.”

At DebraLynn Properties, we pride ourselves in presenting you with the best available information about comparable values in your neighborhood and on evaluating your home in person to see how its unique qualities might impact the price. We are honest in communicating with you our educated belief as to the best place to start listing your home. Our many satisfied customers will attest that we have a great track record selling homes in the Humble Texas area.

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