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Do you often visit Zillow to find out what your house is worth on the market? I’ve recently learned the inaccuracy of what you think your home is valued at in using sites like Zillow. This first post in our  Selling Your Home Series talks about Getting the Numbers from a reputable source so you are properly prepared to price your home right. Here is what Renee Burrows says about Getting the Numbers. 

“Online home value calculators are a very popular way to get a quick and easy home value estimate in the privacy of your own home without waiting.  HOWEVER, I have found these online property value calculators wrong more often than not – especially if your home sports some unique characteristics that could enhance your home’s property value.

Some of the unique items that may enhance and bring up the home value may include:
  • Large Lot Size
  • Pool or Spa
  • Upgrades
  • Guard Gated Community
  • Golf Frontage
  • Lake Frontage
These online home value calculators sometimes adjust the property value correctly for the unique characteristic but not most of the time.

If you need to find out what your home is worth an appraisal is definitely worth the couple hundred dollars you may pay for it if it means netting tens of thousands more or an aging listing in a declining market (which can also leave money on the table if not priced right the first time around!)
Now where can you get a free home value estimate from some human eyeballs and a brain?  You can get a home evaluation consultation!”  
Contact your realtor before you list your home to have a real assessment of the market in your area.  They should be able to ‘pull comps’ of other homes that are selling and have sold in your neighborhood.  By pulling comparable sales, you can do a side by side comparison of square footage, lot size, features, and amenities.  You would also be able to see which homes may have been a foreclosure or short sale, which online home valuation sites don’t always take into consideration when placing value on your equity sale.
I thought I’d put Renee’s advice to the test to see how my home stacked up on different sites.  Here’s what I found:
                      Homegain  $257K – $301K
                      Trulia        $332K
                      Zillow       $331K
According to the comps in my area, my home could be listed at the $350K – $365K range.  That’s a difference of $100,000 if my home were valued at the lowest above!  Another thing I noticed is that Zillow valued my home at $331K, however, my next door neighbor has the exact model as ours, with the same lot size and we moved in within a month of each other.  Zillow states their house is $30,000 less in value than ours.
So there you have it – proof is in the pudding.  It’s always a good idea to contact your realtor or get a home appraisal if needed before you think of selling to see where you home really fits on the market!

Click the button above to read the next post about Understanding Your Net.

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For more advice from Renee Burrows, you can catch up with her here:

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