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Free Online Home Estimate And 5 Ways It’s Wrong

Posted on: September 29th, 2016 by , No Comments

free online home estimate

Can you really trust a free online home estimate sites like Zillow, Trulia or others for what your house is “worth”?

A free online home estimate is just what it says. There’s a reason why, “you get what you pay for.” Okay, it’s a good benchmark but it’s not 100% accurate for many reasons.

When it comes to estimating the value of a home for sale in Denver, Colorado and surrounding areas, homeowners usually find themselves stumped by one of the following scenarios. Especially when using a free online home estimator.

  • The appraiser’s estimate doesn’t match what’s online
  • Real Estate Agents say the home is worth less
  • Buyers are offering lower than your asking price

Yes, it is very frustrating trying to find out 100% what a house can sell for until you actually put it on the market. Welcome to the life of a real estate professional. The free home evaluators are simplistic in their use because they are going off of vague information from county records and it’s not in real time. They don’t have human eyes to see if a house had the highest & best renovations or was a total tear down, was across from Washington Park or was by a busy highway.

Keep these 5 scenarios in mind whenever you feel something is off in the evaluation of what your house may be worth.

1. Renovations Without Permits

I come across many properties that show “0” bedrooms or a very low square footage on county records than what I saw when visiting the property and usually know why. It’s because what was done to the house wasn’t recorded with the county as the renovations were done without permits. If you have a bedroom in the basement without an egress window for example, although factually correct it is 4 walls, a door and a closet, it will not count as a 4 bedroom property with a free online home estimator.

2. The Condition Of A House

In a hot or cold real estate market, even a low amount of sales can affect the accuracy of comparable sales. In the Denver Market, real estate has gotten very hot for retail sales but not everyone has a house in move-in condition with the latest and greatest appliances. So if a house sells for $300,000 in mint condition, while down the street you have a derelict distressed home, how do those compare in their worth? They don’t. But a free online home estimate wouldn’t know that unless it can screen for property condition.

3. You Live In A Older Neighborhood

An online home value estimator, such as Zillow will compare your home with others based on information such as bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage and lot size. If the source data in those records are flawed and the older your home or your neighborhood, the better the chances that public records are inaccurate.

When people make changes to their homes and get different sorts of permits for them, even as records systems evolve, there is an opportunity for error to creep into the public records for your home or your neighbor’s home. If you live in an area where homes predate detailed public property records, it’s not at all bizarre to see some issues with public records based on a free online home estimate.

4. Days On Market Are High

Days on Market is the measurement and age of a real estate listing. Who wants to wait 6 months to sell a house? Chances are 99% don’t want to wait that long when you need to sell a house. This is the one thing that doesn’t involve a home value estimator tool the same way other attributes will, but it’s definitely worth noting. This usually happens in an area that above the average starter home price, a home with large acreage and even homes that were 3 story new builds in an area of ranches. This will make it hard for an appraiser to value your house, let alone a free free online home estimate.

5. Negative Background

This one is always overlooked and one a software will not be able to pick up on. Was your home once flooded during a storm and suffered mold as a result? Was your street or neighborhood once associated with high crime rates, even if that information is now outdated? Did a fire ever occur on or near the property? Did a crime ever occur? It is near impossible to scrub the public record of your home’s history; if your house has bad history, then savvy potential buyers will know about it — think about if you’ll ever move into a house you’ve known to be haunted. Doesn’t sound too appealing in using a free online home estimate.

What factors in this list have affected your home selling process?

Can’t depend on a free online home estimate? If you’d prefer to sell your house and be done with the thought of having a delayed sale, you’re not alone. Even if you’re thinking of listing with an agent for a higher price, Adam Buys Houses can purchase the property give you a higher offer than you may think, closing on the day of your choice. Call 303-558-5843 or Click Here To Get Started. 


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