Whether you are considering a move, planning for the future or simply looking to understand your equity position, there are some things you should consider when deciding the best way to discover the value of your home.
Let’s talk about the different ways someone can figure out the value of their home:
- Asking a neighbor what their house is on the market for
- Finding out the sale price of the house next door
- Asking a relative who has their real estate license (in a different state)
- Gauging reactions of friends/neighbors when they see your brand-new kitchen.
- Zillow Zestimates
I’m sure you can guess that I am going to tell you that hands down, the best way to get the information is to connect with a local Realtor; a licensed professional who knows which questions to ask, someone who studies the local market, has a solid network, is grounded in and connected to your town and has an understanding of what makes buyers tick in your neighborhood.
Sure, you can go to Zillow, or Trulia or Realtor.com. Even I can give you a general value range without ever walking through your house. But nothing beats the real thing.
More reasons speak to a Realtor instead of relying on the internet for a value estimate:
- Even Zillow reports that its estimates are not wholly accurate and encourages homeowners to speak with a local realtor – they don’t advertise that though, it’s in the fine print!
- Realtor.com is owned by the National Association of Realtors – the professional organization that governs the actions of Realtors. Along with the home values that it publishes, the site recommends that you connect with a Realtor for a true valuation.
- A local professional has likely been in most if not all the current listings and recently closed sales; therefore, having real time information that affects value.
- A Realtor might know if a particular property attracted multiple offers or had a deal fall apart due to inspection or appraisal issues – things like this impact future value and an online aggregator has no way to know this.
Contrary to what you might believe, a solid Realtor won’t nag you until you decide to sell; a good Realtor recognizes the value in building a relationship that benefits their clients and will work at your pace. In fact, that is why I encourage you to “waste my time“!