Why Knowing The Value Of Your Home Is Important & Why A Zillow Zestimate Is Not An Accurate Tool
If you’re using a Zillow Zestimate to get an accurate home valuation, you may get a skewed result, which could then affect your home’s listing price. While Zillow has historically provided relatively accurate estimates based on the year the home was built, the number of bedrooms, square footage, and other quantitative data, they’ve recently changed their algorithm. Even when Zillow was fairly accurate, it still provided only an estimate as opposed to a true valuation done by an appraiser or Comparative Market Analysis. Here’s how to get an accurate home valuation and why relying on Zillow or similar sites is usually a bad idea. Outstanding client service, experienced business practices, and ingenious marketing strategies are what make our team the most trusted team in the area.Outstanding client service, experienced business practices, and ingenious marketing strategies is what makes our team the most trusted team in the area.
A home valuation is just a fancy way of saying what the value of your home is. They are used during real estate transactions such as buy-sell or refinances to ensure homeowners or buyers are not overborrowing for a property. The home is used for collateral in a mortgage, and if the borrower defaults on his or her loan, the lender will sell the home to recoup the money lent to buy it. If the home was overvalued and they lent too much, they could lose money. The home valuation ensures they will be able to recoup costs should the mortgage not be paid in full.
A Zillow Zestimate is an automated home valuation tool and is recommended as a starting point when determining the value of your home. It incorporates user-submitted and public data and takes into account home facts, location, and market conditions. Zestimates are done entirely online, and no representative of Zillow will visit your home to perform an appraisal. Banks and lenders do not use Zillow or similar services to estimate property and instead rely on the expertise of a licensed appraiser. A Zestimate can be off by nearly 5% nearly 40% of the time in some markets, which amounts to around $15,000 on a $300,000 home.
The main difference between the two is that a Zillow Zestimate is simply an algorithm. You punch in data, and a value pops out. There is no actual human involved who views your home, compares it against others on the market, and produces a detailed report. When an agent conducts a valuation, they are actively involved in the process and create a valuation that is personalized and in-depth.
There are two accurate ways to perform home valuations: with a Comparative Market Analysis and an appraisal. Here is how the two differ:
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a tool used by real estate agents to value a home. It evaluates similar homes that have recently sold in the same area. Agents find comparable sales and use them to conduct a sales comparison. In most cases, an agent will find three homes that have recently sold and are as similar to and located as close to the home being valued as possible. Each one is then analyzed to pinpoint differences between it and the home being valued. Once these differences are priced out, the price of each comp is adjusted to see what it would cost if it was identical to the home being valued were it to be sold in the current market.
An appraisal is an unbiased valuation of a home based on a professional’s opinion. They are usually what mortgage companies use for home purchases and refinances. A lender usually orders a home appraisal and the cost of the appraisal, sometimes up to $500, is paid by the homeowner. An appraiser does a complete visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the home as well as taking into consideration recent sales of similar properties and market trends. The appraiser then compiles a detailed report on the home, including an exterior building sketch, a street map showing the home and any comparable sales, photos of the home and street, an explanation of how the square footage was calculated, and any other relevant information.
Though getting a valuation in order to sell your home is the most common reason to get a home valuation, it’s not the only one. Here are some more situations when a home valuation may be necessary: