By Jeremy Winegard
If you own a home, you’ve probably been curious as to what your home is really worth. After all, it’s the biggest purchase you’ll probably make in your life. So, you hop on to Zillow and you get their “Zestimate” and now you know, right? Not so fast.
Zillow, along with a host of other online Automated Valuation Models (AVMs), are based on algorithms that look for correlations between property data and calculate a value based on that information. Simply put, this algorithm allows visitors to quickly find a home value estimate by just searching an address.
While that’s all well and good, the calculations don’t take into account everything that a true Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) would. For example, what about that $30,000 backyard that you had put in? The $15,000 in upgrades you made in the kitchen? And the unique size or location of your lot? Probably most importantly, how does your home compare to a similar home in your neighborhood that has actually sold?
“Zestimates” and other AVMs don’t really dig into those facts. But a CMA that’s put together by a Realtor will.
To get an in-depth understanding of what your home’s true value is, and what the market will actually bear, you should contact a Realtor who can put together a CMA that is customized for your home. This gives you the best, most detailed and most accurate valuation based on all of the facts of the property.
And when you decide to sell, basing your list price suggested by the CMA greatly increases the odds that the buyer’s appraisal will support your asking price. Remember, if an appraisal comes in lower than the asking price, the bank will not make the loan.
If you’re curious about your home’s value, whether you’re looking to sell right away or not, feel free to contact me. People are genuinely curious about their home’s value, and I’m more than happy to help them get the facts they need.
Jeremy Winegard is a Realtor and accredited buyer’s representative with Revelation Real Estate.
This column appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.