When you come across a home valuation site or you find an ad online that says, “Put your address in for your free home valuation, “ the sites are great and can be very useful. However, what you want to find out is whether the information that is pulled when you put your address in the box is obtained from the public record. If so, if you have made some upgrades to your home, or if it has not sold in the last 10 – 12 years, if you have added a room or a bathroom, or if you have updated your kitchen, put in a brand new deck or roof, the automatic valuation sites are not going to pull that information.
We all know that a three bedroom, one bathroom Cape can go from a low range of 200k, to a high range of 400, depending on where you are. Now, of course, that’s an example; in different parts of town the valuations are different. The automated systems do not necessarily take that into account. Nor do they take into account the upgrades and the things you may have done to your house to customize it that may obviously increase its value. When you put your valuation into the site and it comes out a little low, you probably should expect that because, like I said, it is not going to reflect the features and accommodations that make your house special and unique.
Before you put your information in, understand that the valuation is only going to be an estimate based on the information that the computer/internet/Google/public record and all the other online sources that feed into these sites give you. It’s an automatic valuation. Sometimes those sites are accurate, and other times they are not. It really is just a gauge, a barometer indicating where you might land in the market. The truth of the matter is that you probably already know what your home is worth. In my experience, most homeowners have a range of value in mind indicating what they think their house is worth. They really just put their name in the box for curiosity sake.The real estate agent who is paying to participate in that service recognizes it as a tool for you, and the opportunity to facilitate a conversation with you regarding a possible sale. It is obviously a tool and opportunity for a real estate agent who is paying for that service to have the opportunity to reach out to you. Of course, we use that service too. We think it is valuable. We think it is a great way for sellers to confirm what they think their homes are worth. In most cases, a home is likely to be worth a little more that the automated system indicates. We, too, use that technology as a tool.
Real quick on this Russell Realty Minute, I just want to let you know that it does not take into account the many wonderful features that your may have (or frankly, may not have) that might affect your value in a positive or a negative way.
The only true way to find the value of your home is to look at the sold comps around you, determine beds, baths, square footage, location. Then we can demonstrate by statistical data what buyers are willing to pay for homes like yours in a similar community or neighborhood like yours, and that is the benefit of seeking the assistance of a true professional real estate agent, who will always bring his knowledge to every transaction on your behalf.
This free eGuide will answer many of your questions and likely bring up a few things you didn’t even know you should consider when buying a home.