Should I Trust Automated Home Evaluations

Should I Trust Automated Home Evaluations

Fuelled by the popular Zestimates by Zillow, automated home valuation tools have grown increasingly popular. Countless times we have negotiated with people who say “but Zillow said my home is worth XXX”. So can you trust these automated home valuations for an accurate depiction of the value of your home?

Let’s take a quick look at what Zillow themselves say. “The Zestimate has a median error rate of 7.9%, which means half of the Zestimates in an area are closer than the error percentage and half are farther off.” This means that when you are trying to find out what your home is worth in Charlotte using an automated tool you could easily be off by 8% or more. Anecdotally, some agents say they’ve seen automated tools be off by more than 30%. 

This doesn’t mean that automated tools like a Zestimate are not without value. What it means is that they have to be taken with a grain of salt. They can be a good indicator of rough value of your home. You’ll get a ballpark figure and then you have to start accounting for other things that impact the value of your home. Certain things can have big swings in the value of your home that a Zestimate or other tool can’t truly take into account.

For example, if someone has lived in a home for years and smokes cigarettes regularly inside, that can easily mean the home will be worth $30,000-$40,000 less than a comparable home. That’s a big swing in what your home could be worth if that was not taken into account. Too many variables exist to be able to get a perfect home evaluation from a automated tool. That may change down the road as software keeps improving but it still needs the human element.

If you want to just get a very rough idea of the value of your home then you can definitely trust an automated home valuation tool. This is as long as you keep in mind its not the true value of your home, just a rough approximation. If you want to sell your home in Charlotte though then you want to speak to a professional. We can come in and actually take into account all the variables that a piece of software can’t. Then you will be able to find out more accurately what your home could sell for on the open market.


Harrison Long Headshot
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Phone: 704-724-6644
Dated: June 14th 2016
Views: 124
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