Nov. 18, 2011
Home valuation Web sites are great … except when they’re wrong … which is most of the time. If you want to read a lot on this topic, check out this article from SmartMoney, “The Fuzzy Math of Home Values.” If you prefer the summary, here goes:
Some real estate Web sites like Zillow and Homes.com estimate the value of most homes in the U.S. But even the sites themselves will tell you their numbers are often off. Way off.
In Texas, Zillow rates their accuracy one star out of four. Even for states with four-star accuracy, the valuation is off by at least 20% about a quarter of the time. (If I were younger, I’d end the last sentence with five or six exclamation points.) And the values for Texas properties are even worse than that?
Think about it. If you sell your home for 20% less than it’s worth, you’ve just lost a big chunk of change. Overprice by 20% and your home will languish on the market.
Sure, online home valuations are fun, but when I’m ready to sell my home, I’m going to work with a Texas REALTOR®.