How to Determine
House Values Online – Internet Offers Zestimate Zillow.com and Other
Free Appraisal Services For Homes Worth
June 29th 2006
The summer months are usually the most popular time to buy and sell a
home. The kids are out of school, and many people have a little extra
time to make the move. But how do you know if you are getting a good
deal either selling or buying a home?
The most accurate method of determining the value of a house is to hire
an appraiser. The appraiser can determine the value of the house using
a few methods including comparing the house to others that have sold in
the area. This is called the comparable method.
Appraisers may also determine how much it would cost to rebuild the
house, and then subtract the depreciation and add the value of the
land. This can be accurate, especially if the house has special
features and upgrades. For instance, if the house has ceramic tile, it
will be worth more than a house with linoleum.
Appraisals can cost hundreds of dollars for a common residential
property. But let’s say you are interested in a quick estimate. There
are sources on the Internet where you can get a quick estimate of what a
house is worth. Zestimate is one these sites.
Zestimate (Zillow.com) is free and will give you a satellite view of the
house with the estimate. The service has also added a “birds-eye” view
of many of the residences as well.
The value is determined using the comparable estimation approach using
values obtained by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other
sources. After you enter the address for the home in question,
Zestimate will serve up a map with arrows pointing to the comparable
These estimated values may be accurate, especially in areas with
identical track homes. The values will likely be less accurate where
homes were built one at a time or in areas where views add value.
Banks will likely still require an appraisal before they loan on a
house. They want someone to actually go out and look at the house.
Zestimate is looking into aiding buyers and sellers in the transaction
though. Previously, this has been the job of the real estate agent and
So far Zestimate is available on the west coast and in certain
metropolitan areas around the country. They hope to have the rest of
the country available soon. Until then there are some regional services
available for determining the value of property free of charge.