Lately, most stories dealing with residential real estate have headlined one of two leading subjects: either the scarcity of homes for sale or the recent appreciation in home value. For local owners, reading about a rise in your home value can be a real mood-booster. Even if there is no intention to translate higher numbers into cash by selling or refinancing, it’s a comforting notion to think that the world agrees that your property isn’t just worth what you paid for it: it’s worth a lot more!
For local homeowners who haven’t experienced that pleasant feeling lately, here are a few of the most-trafficked sites that present their computer-generated calculated values for addresses. Chances are that when you enter your own address, you’ll see that the market value has been on the move lately. There is a caveat to be made after you’ve tested the models—but first, you may want to see how they work:
If you tried more than one of those links, you will probably have noticed that the figures calculated are surprisingly different. That’s what produces the caveat mentioned at the start. The numbers that look so official onscreen are the products of different Automated Valuation Models. AVMs take available price trends and basic property characteristics and shoot out the best results they can. But since the trends are generalizations that are unlikely to be neighborhood-specific—and the property ‘characteristics’ can’t take into account the individual features that make any home unique—the results vary as widely as you’ve seen. When it really matters, you’ll want to get a much closer picture of how your property rates in today’s market. That’s where an agent comes in