Internet websites love to drive traffic by offering the public estimates on their home’s value. Consumers can search maps, click on a home, and in a matter of seconds, be told what their home is worth. We’re all used to seeing up to minute valuations offered in seconds. Let’s explore where those figures come from and why.

Sites like Zillow use public records and MLS data to obtain recent home sale information. They take this data and couple it with properties details, including square footage, bedroom and bathroom count, as well as lot size. From there they apply a price per square foot to each property in a community. That’s it! There is your home value… in their opinion. It’s very elementary.

I always joke with my clients that Mr. or Mrs. Zillow has never been inside your home. A website doesn’t know when you replaced your roof or if you remodeled your kitchen. A website doesn’t know if you have an amazing backyard or if you have a spectacular view. Pools have become more valuable in the past year due to the stay at home orders. A view can add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your home’s value, and third party sites don’t know it.

The other thing to keep in mind is that these sites don’t do anything for free. They’re not offering a public service because their nice guys. These sites are designed to produce revenue for the site’s owners. They do this by selling leads. These sites can generate more leads by manipulating home values. Have you ever noticed that Zillow’s value estimates tend to match up quite well with asking prices when a home is on the market? That’s because they want to make their phone ring. If a home appears to be priced correctly then a consumer is more likely to make an inquiry, which creates a lead to sell to a Realtor.

If you’re looking for an honest, real assessment of your home’s value please reach out to Market Real Estate. We’ll happily spend the time required to produce an accurate valuation in today’s real estate market.

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