Unfortunately, estimates from these sites are often inaccurate, and the value of inaccuracy is pretty compelling. According to Zillow.com, their Zestimates are based on an algorithm that is pretty complicated to understand, even for us real estate agents. We understand the importance of comparing homes in the same area, but we also know how many other factors can increase/decrease that number that are not included in the "algorithm."
How does Zillow calculate my home's value?
That's the million dollar question (literally). Zillow actually had a contest awarding $1M to whoever can improve their algorithm. Here's an exact quote on how they explain their calculations.
"We use proprietary automated valuation models that apply advanced algorithms to analyze our data to identify relationships within a specific geographic area, between this home-related data and actual sales prices."
Confusing, right? We get it. Getting an "instant" home value is appealing. Not having to talk to someone is appealing, but there's a cost to that approach. Instant doesn't mean accurate. When something is as important as the value of your home, accuracy matters more.
So, how do you determine my home's value?
There are hundreds of factors that we take into consideration when estimating your home's value, and no two reports are the same. We first take a look at your address. This allows us to see how much neighboring homes have sold for, the desirability of the neighborhood you live in, unique features of your home and the surrounding geographical area, and many more factors. After we have a good idea of what that looks like, we then go more in-depth with our research, including checking the condition of your home, taking into consideration any updates you've made that could make it worth more than your neighbor's. All of this is done by a human being. None of our home value reports run on an algorithm, and this information isn't available to us or you at the push of a button.
Your report is being prepared by:
Joel & Caleb Westeringh
"If you’re looking for a good real estate team to sell/buy your house, I would highly recommend the Westeringh Brothers. They are very personable and a professional, hardworking team. They go above and beyond to market your home in ways that no other real estate agent or team does. They are always available at anytime and will work hard to get the best for you. " -Lori B. , Chilliwack
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