There are various reasons that you might be interested in finding out the estimated value of your home. Perhaps you’re looking to sell in the near future, maybe you’re considering refinancing, maybe you’re calculating your net worth, or you might simply want to know how the value of your home has changed since you purchased it and how it compares to similar properties. Having a basic understanding of your home’s value in comparison to others in the local area might also help you to understand how to add value to the property.
Whatever reason you might have for looking into the current value of your home, the plethora of online home value estimators out there make it easy to find this out.
Previously, homeowners could only find out the value of their homes by hiring a qualified realtor or appraiser. While this is still a perfectly legitimate way of valuing your home, it can be expensive and time-consuming. By inputting some data into an online home value estimator, you’re likely to gain a pretty solid understanding of the value of your home quickly and without any expensive fees. Information such as location, size, year of construction, and various other factors can all be taken into consideration when generating your estimate.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that valuations fluctuate regularly and no estimate is guaranteed to be accurate. If you’re seriously considering selling your home, it’s always best to seek out professional advice. With that being said, online value estimators are often free and can be extremely useful. Listed below are some of the top online estimators available for use in the United States.
The Best Home Value Estimators
With Zillow, it’s extremely easy to find the estimated market value of your home. Zillow provides customers with a ‘Zestimate’, which is formulated using a combination of both public and user-submitted data. The ‘Zestimate’ might not give an entirely accurate value, as it’s not an official appraisal. However, it provides a good estimation and a starting point for prospective sellers.
The more information you’re able to input into the Zillow estimator, the better. You’ll need to know your home’s square footage and lot size to gain an accurate estimate, as well as the number of bedrooms and other basic information. They then pair the information you provide with public data such as comparable sales, market data and local trends or buyer interest.
Zillow claims that 50% of their on-the-market Zestimates have an accuracy rating within 2% of the official sale price. This of course means that the other 50% of Zestimates are less accurate. Again, this really depends on the accuracy of the data that the estimate is based upon.
Zillow also provides advice on general ways to increase your home’s value.
Redfin’s value estimates come up slightly more accurate than Zillow’s on average, with 50% of Redfin’s on-the-market estimates falling within 1.8% of the official sale price. These kinds of accuracy figures are pretty standard with online estimators, although some fare slightly better than others, and Redfin appears to fall slightly above average in relation to their competitors.
It’s thought that Redfin can generate value estimates for more than ninety-million homes across the US, with extensive data compiled regarding a huge number of neighborhoods and local property markets. As well as using their own publicly sourced data, Redfin will also ask you for some basic information about the property before generating their estimate.
Redfin’s data is updated daily, meaning you’ve got a good chance of finding an up-to-date value estimate for your home through this system.
As well as the online value estimates, Redfin also provides expert advice from their qualified real estate agents. It’s free to speak to one of their agents and is especially helpful if you’re looking to sell your home in the near future.
When it comes to ranking the best home value estimators, Zillow and Redfin are pretty close to each other at the top of the list. To learn more about the differences, please read this Zillow vs. Redfin comparison.
ReMax offers customers two choices when it comes to estimating the market value of their homes. The first is an AVM or Average Valuation Model. An AVM is a good starting point for estimating your home’s value but is unlikely to give the most accurate outlook. AVM’s are based purely on national public sales data and trends and won’t take into account any specific details about the property or the neighborhood.
ReMax recommends that in order to gain a more accurate idea of your home’s value, you should have their agents carry out a CMA, or Competitive Market Analysis. These are more similar to the estimates provided by both Zillow and Redfin and will look at public sales data as well as specific information about the home, its amenities and overall condition, and local market trends.
AVMs are offered free of charge through the ReMax website and can be generated quickly and with little data input. CMA’s will need to be requested from one of the ReMax Agents.
4. Rocket Homes
Rocket Homes also provides customers with a CMA for their property. Their property reports are available for free on the Rocket Homes website. The value estimates are based on public data from the sales of similar properties in the area as well as specific information about your property.
Rocket Homes has been around for a while but has recently expanded to become a kind of one-stop-shop for property buyers and sellers. As well as the free home valuation service, customers are able to connect directly with realtors and mortgage lenders through the Rocket Homes site. If you’re looking for a straightforward sale, it might be worth looking into Rocket Homes. Their online valuation service is a great starting point for prospective sellers.
Related: The True Costs of Owning a Home
Realtor.com does not provide CMA analyses for customers, but it does give multiple AVM evaluations from various different providers, based on a wide range of market data.
Realtor.com works with three different valuation providers: Collateral Analytics, Core Logic and Quantarium. Each provider uses different algorithms, meaning you’re able to gain a well-rounded view of your home’s potential market value.
Again, it’s important to bear in mind that an AVM will not generally give the most accurate estimation of a property’s value, given that no specific data about the home is taken into consideration when generating the figures. But if you’re simply looking for a starting point or a rough idea of your home’s value, Realtor.com is an excellent place to start and offers one of the most comprehensive AVM evaluations out there.
Trulia currently offers estimated valuations for more than 65-million off-market homes across the US, however, they’re hoping to expand their market and provide value estimates to every property in every neighborhood in the coming years.
The estimates provided by Trulia are based on the characteristics of the specific property such as location, size, and amenities, as well as property tax information and local market trends. The accuracy ratings of Trulia’s estimates fluctuate depending on the availability and accuracy of public data and the uniqueness of the property and its features.
If you’re looking to sell your home or increase its value in any way, Trulia is a great place to go for advice and general property market information. As well as their valuation service, they also offer many resources that could prove extremely helpful when buying or selling property.
Much like Trulia, HomeLight offers a number of services geared towards aiding you in the buying or selling of property.
One of these services is their free online home valuation service. Their free valuations pair housing market data with your own personal insights about the property to generate the estimated valuation for your home. As part of the valuation, HomeLight will ask you a series of specific questions about the property while also gathering information from public records and the current property market. This makes their AVM more accurate than many others, as it gives a more specified and well-rounded view of the property and its value.
It’s incredibly easy to get an estimated value through HomeLight, simply head to their website and follow the steps outlined there. They also offer various other services and resources that might be useful to you when selling your property or increasing its value, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
Online property value estimators have made valuing and selling your home easier than ever before. Previously, sellers were required to hire a certified professional to carry out an official appraisal on their property, whereas they can now do this from the comfort of their own home, and often with no costs.
Granted, the estimated values provided by these companies are purely that: estimates. So it’s extremely important to seek professional advice if you are seriously considering selling your home. But having a rough idea of the property’s value before embarking on this process can be extremely helpful.
With each of the companies listed above offering free home value estimations, this is a great starting point for homeowners looking to sell their property or simply wishing to gain some insight into local market trends.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many online home value estimators (the best ones are covered in this article) that are free and quick to use. In most cases, the estimates are based on a combination of user-entered info (like square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc.) as well as average market values for the local area.
No automated estimate will be 100% accurate. However, according to Zillow, 50% of homes have a selling price that is within 2% of Zillow’s Zestimate.
According to statistics from each company, Redfin’s estimates are slightly more accurate. However, the numbers are very close between these two home value estimators.