Top 4 Free Home Value Estimates to Check, Before Selling a Home

top home value estimates

4. Redfin.com’s Home Value Estimate

Redfin.com Statistical Home Value Rating: D

On Redfin.com’s home value estimate explanation page they claim to be the most accurate on-market (listed for sale) estimator. This as we’ve already explained in previous articles, is no great trick. Basically the online portal can simply adjust their estimate so it closely aligns with the advertised for sale price tag. Simple, and not helpful. Most homes are still sold by a Realtor in the U.S., a licensed professional who advised the homeowner on setting the list price. Redfin or any other online website taking credit for that is nonsensical. Notice Redfin.com says their off-market home value estimate has an off-market median error rate of 6.94%. Wow. That’s like shooting an arrow at a target and hitting the tree next to it instead.

Redfin.com Home Value Feature Rating: C+

When looking up a home on Redfin.com you will see their home value estimate as well as the median list price for that zip code, average number of offers (this can only be accurate to their record of their agent’s involvement in the industry and should not be considered complete data, but more of a possibility), number of recent sold homes, and a median sale to list price average. Then Redfin.com gives an overall score based on their data on how competitive they believe that zip code to be.

3. Zillow.com’s Zestimate Home Value Estimate

Zillow’s Zestimate Statistical Home Value Rating: C

Zillow has its own formula to determine each home’s value. Their Zestimate is likely the most famous, most used home value estimator online, but biggest doesn’t always mean best. Right now Portland Zestimates for unlisted homes have a median error of 5.6%, and only 45.7% come within 5% of the sale price. Bottom line, it does not appear to be more accurate than any other national portal and in fact, may be less so than most. We wrote an extensive article on the accuracy of their Zestimate here.

Zillow.com Home Value Feature Rating: C-

When you look up a home on Zillow, you can see the Zestimate home value, a current rent estimate for the property and a neighborhood section that gives trends on neighborhood (read here zip code) values. Like most major real estate portals it also brings in some third party data you can find elsewhere, like walk scores and school ratings.

2. Realtor.com Home Value Estimates

Realtor.com Statistical Home Value Rating: A

The big national portals individually have their own proprietary ways of determining your home’s online value. Realtor.com’s home value tool pulls data from a few select real estate data vendors to give the consumer a free online home value. Right now they are using Collateral Analytics which compiles “decades of property data and transaction information for more than 95% of the U.S. housing stock” and combines that with tagged property types to create instant values. Realtor.com also uses Quantarium as a data vendor. Quantarium applies AI smart learning to housing data sets. Their AI model claims it can determine the condition of the home through real data (likely through satellite and public photos) and not by data-created assumptions (which they claim most other home value systems are doing). Realtor.com’s home value tool also pulls CoreLogic values. Corelogic is a major industry player and has long provided home values to mortgage lenders to help them assess risk. Corelogic is the chosen AVM provider of 8 of the top 10 U.S. mortgage lenders. Corelogic holds a lot of patents on valuation modeling, holds billions of records, and covers 99% of the U.S. housing market. We are giving Realtor.com’s current home value system a statistical value an A since they will actually let you see what each different data vendor thinks your home is worth (but that is as far as the explanation goes). When checking your home value on Realtor.com be sure to click the down arrow to see what each data provider has to say. Realtor.com is offering the public a true benefit – for free. Realtor.com is purchasing data direct from real estate data companies and showing it to whoever wants to search for it. Be assured here, Realtor.com is paying a large bill to make this feature available. Unlike Redfin.com and Zillow.com, Realtor.com doesn’t pretend it can become an expert real estate data company. Realtor.com knows these multi-million dollar real estate data companies already exist, already serve the industry (like backing mortgages and investment firms) and their cutting-edge leading data can be purchased.

Realtor.com Home Value Customer Feature Rating: C

In addition to a home value estimate, Realtor.com’s page gives zip code specific real estate market statistics. It will tell you trends on price per sq. ft., rental rates, days on market, and the number of active listings for sale.

1. Homebot

Homebot’s Statistical Home Value Rating: A

No one right now, in my opinion, can come close to beating Realtor.com’s statistical home value rating. Homebot comes closest because it is owned by Black Knight, a publically traded, massive leading real estate data company that serves title companies, MLS systems, and mortgage lenders. While Realtor.com provides data from three leading companies in the real estate data space, Black Knight might be the biggest player of them all with data covering 99.9% of all U.S. households. Black Knight’s Homebot system doesn’t have a national portal that any user can visit and enter their address. Instead, Homebot is provided primarily through title companies and Realtors. (If you click this link and type in your address, you can get your Homebot report for free from us now.)

Homebot’s Home Value Customer Feature Rating A

To start things off, unlike the other national home value portals, Homebot will take into account the homeowners opinion of value and keep this adjustment in its system for long-term reporting. In addition to the home value estimate, Homebot will likely have information on what you currently owe on your loan, what your current equity is (it will also let you tweak this information), what your current interest rate is, and can notify you on the best time to refinance and what a refi would mean for you today. Homebot will also let you add all your properties to one dashboard (if you own more than one). Homebot also has comprehensive data based on your local zipcode, giving average home demographics (how many beds / baths / sq. ft.), days on market, local appreciation, and more. Another fun feature, Homebot will give you an Airbnb nightly rate estimate for your home. Bottom line, Homebot reports are the most user-friendly I’ve seen and help homeowners in one place, at once, see the most important financial considerations for their home(s).

April 21, 2021
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call him direct: 503-714-1111 for Oregon or 360-470-7777 for Washington.

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