Finding your home’s value is now easier than ever before – just type your address into a website like Zillow or Trulia and you can magically get a rough estimate of what your home is valued at based off of what homes in the area have sold for and tend to be priced at. Of course, the operative word is ‘rough’ because these online tools’ algorithms don’t account for things like home improvements and updates or other factors that could dramatically increase or decrease your home’s true value. While consumers may have access to more insight and information than we did in decades past, we can’t count on these tools to accurately project what we can expect to pay or receive for a home.
The best rule of thumb when trying to figure out your home value estimate is to contact a brokerage firm and take all estimates with a grain of salt because at the end of the day, these estimates are just that, estimates. It’s important to keep in mind that when it comes down to making a deal, the negotiation skills of your realtor will make the difference in what you’re able to ask for and receive for your home. Additionally, if you’re looking at estimates to establish your home’s value, you have to take into account the type of data that went into that particular estimate. Your estimate could be less accurate if you live in a neighborhood where the homes are all similar. If a lot of homes have recently sold in your neighborhood, there’s more data to pull from than if there are fewer sales.
At the end of the day, the best course of action is doing your homework – look online at the home values in your area and make sure to account for recent home improvements and additions. Call Cathy Geary at Keller Williams Northwest to help establish your home’s value and make sure you’re asking and getting the best possible price for your home.