The ads are everywhere! On flyers, bus benches, billboards and especially online with statements like "Get Your Homes Value INSTANTLY" or "What is Your Home Worth? Find Out Now". But there is one critical flaw in getting an evaluation this way; the fact that these agents, or automated sites, have never actually seen your property in person.
Just like a City of Calgary Property Tax Assessment, these sites and agents rely on community averages, outdated sales data, algorithms and fixed upgrade values to determine their version of 'Home Value'. And just like the City of Calgary Assessments, these values can be considerably different than actual market value.
For example, a garage could be a basic framed garage, or it could be heated and/or insulated and have upgrades like cabinets, floor tiles, organizers, 220V power, etc (all of which add value). These factors could be the difference between a $20,000 garage and a $60,000 garage; however, all these sites and agents know is that you have a garage and will value that at $20,000.
This lack of knowledge leads to home value estimates that can be off by 20% or more. These sites only exist because they are convenient, but they are far from reliable or precise. In fact Zillow is facing multiple class-action lawsuits in the United States because their 'Zestimates' are so inaccurate.
So why do these sites exist? Simply to get your contact information and sell it to the highest bidding agent.
Determining an accurate market value of a property requires more than public real estate data, averages and algorithms; it requires viewing the property, in person, and needs to take condition, location, upgrades, amenities and many other factors into consideration. Once the property has been assessed in person, a licensed real estate professional (Realtor®) can then apply market knowledge, recent sales data, current competitive listings and market trends to determine an accurate market value of your home.
The internet has made it more convenient than ever to get real estate information; but the accuracy of the valuation of your home is far too important to leave to automated services. For a FREE IN-HOME PROPERTY EVALUATION, please contact me anytime.