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Why an Instant Home Value Probably Isn’t Accurate

Jessica Evans

Jessica fell in love with D.C.’s unique neighborhoods while attending the University of Maryland...

Jessica fell in love with D.C.’s unique neighborhoods while attending the University of Maryland...

May 21 3 minutes read

Here’s why online home estimates aren’t quite accurate enough.


If you’ve been to pretty much any real estate website, chances are that you’ve either seen or used a tool where you can enter your address and get an instant valuation of your home. It’s super convenient, and it's super tempting to trust the information.


However, the truth is that these estimates are notoriously unreliable for a few different reasons. 


First, they rely heavily on public information, which may or may not be accurate. Tax records are not always up to date. For example, finished basements or attics could double the size of your house but may not be included in the tax records, which means they won’t be factored into your instant valuation. It doesn’t take things that a buyer is willing to pay more or less for in a given market into consideration either.


"Ceiling heights, hardware finishes, and the home’s condition aren’t factored in."


Another factor where these websites fall short is determining the value of renovations. If a seller puts in bright-red cabinets and black tile in the bathroom, the website isn’t going to know the difference between that home and the one that has much more on-trend finishes and is worth more.


There are so many additional things that you can’t tell about a home unless you’re physically there in person. Ceiling heights, hardware finishes, condition of systems, etc., all play a big part. In our area, where the price per square foot varies as widely as the type of homes, an algorithm is less likely to tell you what your home is worth accurately.


If you are looking for an accurate valuation of your home in the current market, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via phone or email. We’d be happy to provide our expert opinion on your home’s market value. We look forward to hearing from you.

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