How to find out what your home is worth...

Posted by Carolyn A. Capalbo on Monday, April 20th, 2015 at 1:32pm.

People often ask us about what we think their home is worth on the market right now. More often these days, by the time they ask a REALTOR, they have already visited one of many websites and consulted an "automated valuation model" for a rough guesstimate on what their home is worth. We are seeing more and more of that, and I thought it would be good to explain WHY those tools are so often wrong and additionally, how to avoid the problem of overpricing or underpricing your home.

Martin Archacki, a REALTOR in Atlanta recently created a clever graphic that shows how far these automated models can be off. In his case he used Zillow's own statistics to explain the problem. On Average...a Zestimate is 8% off in terms of value. There are many areas of the country where they are much farther off that that! His point was that there is no automated tool that will be able to look into your home and assess the condition of it from the inside out. Also there is no way to figure out the same thing for your neighbors' homes or anyone with a home that might compare to yours. 

An additional point is that their data is often incomplete. And typically these models do NOT take into account how fast you want or need to sell your home. Let's take a practical example: A person wants to sell their home, but there is no hurry. They can market the home and be more demanding to where they find someone willing to pay top dollar. often these negotiations boil down to time or money. If they have more time then they MIGHT be able to get more money. Typically the models do not take into account (at least not very well, the seasonality of the business. They are looking at similar homes with similar square footage in a roughly similar area.

While Zestimates and other automated tools can be a starting point, they really are too far off to be considered useful for much of anything. 

So how is the best way? The best way is to give us a call. Seriously. We are happy to invest the time with you. We want to earn your business. We are happy to show you the comparable properties that we use in determining your homes value. We will adjust the price according to how quickly you need to sell. We will want the ability to adjust the value of your home based on the interior condition, recent upgrades and so forth of your home. And with the volume of homes that we sell here locally, we are able to provide you with a valuation that actually means something.

There is no automated valuation tool that will out perform a professional with a thorough understanding of the market. That is why we create our market analyses of your homes value and we hand review it to make sure that you get the most accurate assessment of your homes value on the market.

Please give  us a call and we will set up a time to chat with you!

Carolyn Capalbo, Best Northern VA REALTORCarolyn Capalbo,
Northern Virginia REALTOR®


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