Determining how much a house is worth is no easy task. Basic information on home values is always out there, but who are people to trust when it comes to assessing a home value? Appraisers? Real estate agents? Zillow?
There are a lot of free online tools out there that can estimate a home’s value, and every site uses different information to determine its best guess estimate. Why do we trust computers for information like this? Because its fast and convenient. Does convenience always lead to accuracy, however?
House value estimate websites can not assess – they can simply provide an estimate based on what you tell them. Can a mechanic accurately pinpoint a problem in your car if you don’t tell him everything that is wrong? Didn’t think so. Home value reductions like a cracked foundation can only be evaluated by an online calculator if you tell the calculator it exists. Even then, it doesn’t know how bad the crack is. Try telling an online tool that your foundation simply has one crack, and that the entire foundation isn’t in bad shape. Computers typically work on yes/no answers, and house value calculators are no different.
As if that isn’t enough, website estimators typically don’t give definitive numbers. Instead, they provide a price range. If you can’t get a definitive, immediate answer to your home value question, why ask an online calculator?
To determine how much worth you have in your house, a real estate agent is the best option. They have local knowledge of your real estate market and can provide reliable, fast answers based on recent sales. In addition to that, they can judge subjective housing conditions, like a tiny crack in a foundation versus a damaged foundation in need of repair.
Would you trust just anyone who uses the internet to manage an internet marketing campaign? No. Working with a local real estate agent to find out how much your house is worth is essential to getting an accurate estimate.