Saturday, September 4, 2010

Home Values on Appraisal Sites Often Not Valid

From the Sacramento Bee:

Appraisal sites on Net often fail to pin down accurate pricesOver the last five years, one of the newest developments in real estate is the ability for home buyers and sellers to search online for a home’s value. Popular Web sites such a,, and offer free home estimates, but some consumers and real estate industry professionals say the values calculated often are inaccurate and misleading.

Online home appraisal Web sites assign home values without knowing the features or upgrades of a home or the neighborhood in which it is located. Some Web sites offer a price range of $20,000 - $40,000 more or less than the actual value of the home.

Since housing markets are local and not every home of a certain size is the same value, consumers can be misled into believing a home is worth more or less than the actual value. Working with a local REALTOR® can help minimize inaccuracies in home values. REALTORS® can provide local housing market data and show homeowners and buyers recent sales of comparable homes in the area, to help determine an accurate list or offer price.

While some agents report that Web estimates can educate clients and provide a reasonable assessment of market conditions and the home-buying process, working with a local REALTOR® is the best option.

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