8 Home Value Estimator Websites Compared

Talia Lee-
July 03, 2024

One of the biggest challenges in the real estate market is estimating a home’s value accurately. With local market conditions constantly shifting, pricing a property can be tricky. This difficulty has given rise to the profession of home appraisal, dedicated to determining property values.

As technology advances, many companies have developed methods to estimate home values online. These tools, known as automated valuation models (AVMs), aim to provide accurate home price estimates. Here are some of the best home value estimators and how they work.

Using these tools is quick and easy: simply input the address and, in some cases, confirm basic details about the home. Most AVMs provide instant results by pulling data from public records to estimate the home’s value. This data can include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, lot size, and local sale records.

While these tools can be a useful starting point, they may not offer the most accurate pricing. Their algorithms rely solely on available data and cannot account for factors like the home’s condition or renovations made since the last update. In contrast, a professional appraiser or real estate agent can visit the home in person, assess the neighborhood, perform thorough market research, and consider subjective details. These personalized assessments of a property’s fair market value are likely to be more accurate than an automated website’s estimate.

To compare each estimator tool below, we’ll use the same example property and run it through each tool to see how the results stack up.

Our example property is 303 Willowcrest Drive, a 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath home in Rochester, New York. At the time of writing, the home was listed for sale at $375,000, which is close to the national median price. Here is how several leading tools estimated its value, with results ranging from well below the list price to considerably above:

Chase’s home value estimator is simple to use: just provide the address of the home; no other information is needed. The tool allows you to adjust details of the home to see how these changes influence the value. This feature lets you correct any inaccuracies, such as the wrong number of bedrooms or bathrooms, and also provides an opportunity to see how additions or renovations could increase the home’s value.

Bank of America’s home valuation tool requires only the street address to get started. It displays basic details of the home, such as property type, square footage, and number of bedrooms, along with its estimated value. A unique feature of this tool is the value history, which shows how the home’s value has changed over the past 20 years. Additionally, you can use the tool to compare the property to similar homes in the area.

Redfin provides home value estimates directly on the property profiles listed on its website. These estimates are derived from hundreds of data points, including details about the home, the neighborhood, and broader real estate market trends. The stated margin of error is 2.04 percent for homes currently on the market and 6.38 percent for those off the market. Estimates for on-market homes are updated daily, while off-market home estimates are updated weekly.

Zillow’s Zestimate is one of the most well-known home value estimators. To use it, you only need the home’s address. According to Zillow, the median error rate is 3.2 percent for on-market homes and 7.52 percent for off-market homes. Zestimates are available for nearly every property in the U.S., calculated based on various factors including:

  • Home details such as age and number of bedrooms
  • On-market data including list price, description, and comparable homes
  • Off-market data such as prior sales and tax assessments
  • Housing market trends

Bankrate’s user-friendly home value estimator needs only your street address. Once entered, the tool delivers an approximate home value based on Zillow data. Additionally, Bankrate provides options to connect with a local real estate agent for a more precise estimate, learn about leveraging your home equity, or explore refinancing options for your mortgage.

Realtor.com’s RealEstimate tool only requires the home address to get started. For more in-depth details, however, you’ll need to create an account on the site. Once you have an account, you can access additional information such as your approximate home equity, buyer demand for similar properties, and the property’s value history.

Ownerly, an online real estate platform, provides a home value estimator that requires setting up an account and paying for a subscription. However, you can opt for a seven-day trial membership for $1 or a premium trial for $5. After entering the home’s address, you’ll need to answer a few questions regarding your ownership and its sales history. Once the search is complete, you’ll have the opportunity to create an account and view the estimate.

RE/MAX, a prominent real estate brokerage, begins its home estimation process by requesting the property address. Following this, it verifies a few specifics like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and the home’s square footage. Notably, the tool does not accommodate half-baths, only whole numbers. Once these details are provided, the tool presents two automated estimates from different companies and offers a list of comparable homes in the same zip code.

Online tools can provide a general estimate of a home’s value, but they inevitably come with some margin of error. These tools rely on publicly available data and don’t consider neighborhood specifics or recent upgrades you may have made to your property.

For the most accurate valuation, consider hiring a professional home appraiser. An appraiser will conduct a thorough assessment to determine your home’s precise market value. Though this service typically costs several hundred dollars, it ensures that you set an appropriate asking price, which can facilitate a smoother home sale process.

Alternatively, you can ask your real estate agent to perform a comparative market analysis (CMA). This comprehensive study involves gathering and analyzing data on similar properties recently sold in your area, assessing your home’s features and condition, and taking into account local and national housing trends. A CMA provides valuable insights to help you determine the optimal price for listing your home.

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