How to Explain Online Home Value Estimates

How to Explain Online Home Value Estimates


Homeowners who seek an estimate of their home’s value online often find that it doesn’t match the actual value. You need to know how to talk to your clients about this discrepancy, and the Economists’ Outlook blog, which is run by the National Association of REALTORS®, recently offered tips from data scientist Karen Belita.

She notes that Automated Valuation Models, or AVMs, are based on computer algorithms and calculations that “take different sets of property data and look for patterns and relationships between property value and the input data.” This allows web visitors to find a home value estimate easily and quickly by just searching an address.

But these estimates should not be confused or used as a substitute for appraisals, Belita notes. Appraisals use comparative market analyses and in-depth expertise of real estate professionals to draw a conclusion on the value of the property.

Another caveat with AVMs is that they fail to take into account the unique qualities of a home, neighborhood, or local market.

Zillow’s “Zestimate,” for example, is computed using public and user-submitted data with “different accuracy levels depending on the data of the property and location,” Belita writes. Another source is the REALTORS Property Resource®, which provides two home value estimates: one from their own AVM model and another from REALTORS® Valuation Model. RVM pulls from the same data as the AVM as well as MLS data, providing estimates of confidence scores based on its accuracy level.

“As technologies advance and more data becomes available, the number of sites that provide home value estimates may grow,” Belita writes. “With the knowledge of where to find home value estimates online, it is important to note that these home value estimates are not interchangeable with formal appraisals, comparative market analyses, and they cannot be used as a basis for a loan. Most of these sites, if not all, reiterate the importance of consulting the expertise of real estate professionals to receive an in-depth and in-person analysis of the property and the local market.”

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About Empire Appraisal Group, Inc.

Establish in 2005, Empire Appraisal Group, Inc., is Broward County’s leading residential appraisal company as a result of their accurate and reliable appraisals, excellent customer service, and quick turn times.  When working with an appraiser, integrity and professionalism are essential, and Empire Appraisal Group has a well-established reputation for providing the best appraisal experience.  Daniel Lindeman, the Chief Appraiser, is considered one of the top property appraisers in Florida, with nearly 15 years of expertise and 8,000+ appraisals to his credit.

We ‘specialize’ in helping people who need appraisals for estate purposes, divorce, bankruptcy, FSBO’s and more.

We also work closely with realtors to help establish listing prices, these pre-listing appraisals ensures sellers get top dollar for their home.

In addition, to homes of all shapes and sizes, we also appraise condos, multifamily homes, boat docks, land, as well as specialty properties. No job is too big or too small, from manufactured homes to mansions.

Call Empire Appraisal Group directly with any questions concerning your real estate values at 561-441-9298.  Also, check out our ‘Reviews’ page and see what others are saying about Daniel Lindeman and Empire Appraisal Group, Inc.

We provide residential appraisal services to all cities in Broward County:  Parkland, Coral SpringsCoconut Creek, Dania Beach, Cooper City, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Sunrise, Hallandale Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale by the Sea, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Lighthouse Point, Margate, Miramar, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sea Ranch Lakes, Tamarac, Weston, Wilton Manors.

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