Q: I'm curious as to how much my house it worth before I put it on the market. I have looked at both Zillow and Redfin but the numbers are about $50k apart. Is one of them more accurate than the other? Can I determine the best asking price from one of these sites?
A: The answer to this question is NO! Anyone who has bought a home, sold a home, or just looked at homes, has heard of websites such as Zillow, Trulia and Redfin. These are also commonly referred to as third party real estate websites. Third party real estate websites are not local to every real estate market. These third party real estate websites provide estimates of home values for practically any home in the United States. How is it possible that a third party website that is headquartered in California or Florida can provide an accurate home value for a home located in the JBLM? It’s not! These third party websites use computer generated home values based on calculations and formulas. These websites providing inaccurate estimates (or “Zestimates”) can create a false sense of hope and/or lead to frustration. A home seller who is told their home is worth $20,000 less than the online estimate is going to be understandably upset. It’s critical that when selling a home, the value is determined by a top Realtor in the area, not an internet website.
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