Zillow’s a good place to start if you want to get a general estimate of what your home is worth. Zillow’s Zestimates give you a property value range, based on public records of the property’s:
- physical attributes;
- tax assessments; and
- prior and current transaction data.
The drawback? Zestimates are generated by a computer, not a person. Improvements and defects are not taken into consideration. It provides estimates for an expansive database of properties and gives a snapshot of the overall market.
If you’re serious about selling, you’ll need more than a general estimate. A diligent agent compares your home’s unique features with recently sold homes to ensure accurate pricing.
Agents determine the value of your home by preparing a comparable market analysis. The comparable market analysis is based on:
- property type and size:
- number of bedrooms and bathrooms:
- age, condition and style;
- location; and
- dates of recent sales.
Agents, unlike Zillow, gather data by:
- researching the Multiple Listing Service (MLS);
- previewing comparable properties;
- viewing photos of properties; and
- contacting buyer’s and seller’s agents of comparable properties.<
Zillow and online home valuation tools are important in today’s market, but they’re not a replacement for professional advice.