Which real estate website is most accurate?

Zillow · Realtor, com Realtors and lenders pay for potential customers on site; if you don't want to interact with agents, be careful when filling out forms on the site. Zillow's main app allows you to search for houses and apartments, list your own for sale or rent, browse The house through images and videos when available, contact agents and lenders, save your searches and receive automatic notifications of updates to your search criteria. Zillow obtains publications both from the MLS, or from various listing services, and from non-MLS sources. Non-MLS sources include sale by the owner, foreclosures not related to the MLS, and.

Robust “find a real estate agent” feature: the app allows you to search for houses, view photos and video tours, compare neighborhood criteria, such as noise levels, and update all your listings in real time. Draw a shape with your fingertip on the app map and see only the properties within that geographical shape. Users can also contact real estate agents and run financial calculators through the app. More than 750,000 listings of foreclosures, pre-foreclosures, bankruptcies and tax liens across the country As you become familiar with the process, you can search and classify homes at specific stages of foreclosure.

For example, you can search for specific real estate situations, such as bailiff sales and tax liens. Another unique feature is the ability to search for homes classified as “Rent-to-own”. Not just apartments, but also houses, condos and townhomes Search by more than just geography, for example, search for “Pet-friendly Apartments” If you fit into one of the professional categories (heroes) in which they work, Homes for Heroes saves you money by using its extensive national network of real estate agents, lenders and companies and services that have agreed to serve you with excellence and at a reduced rate. The other main purpose that real estate websites serve is as a marketing channel for professional service providers who contribute to the transaction.

Real estate agents, mortgage professionals, banks and inspectors can advertise on the website to generate leads. Real estate websites fill their home inventory in a variety of ways. In some cases, the input is manual. A real estate agent or property manager updates a house profile or a seller uploads photos.

Other updates are produced digitally through each company's proprietary algorithm. The algorithm collects information from city and town tax databases and from regional multi-listing services, to name a few. Home value websites can give you a rough estimate of the value of a property. But they simply aren't reliable enough to make meaningful decisions, such as setting a list price or submitting an offer to buy.

Even the best estimators of a home's value tend to lose tens of thousands of dollars. Zillow's Zestimate tool is the best free online home value calculator, but that doesn't say much. While Z estimates are, on average, slightly more accurate than most alternatives and cover the widest geographical range, they still have a wide margin of error. Playing with online home value estimators is fun, but when you're ready to sell, we recommend that you get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) from a local realtor.

Unlike a home value calculator, a CMA is based on an in-person visit to your home and is therefore much more accurate. A good agent will provide you with a CMA for free even before you sign a contract, so there's no risk or obligation. Zestimate by Zillow and its sister site Trulia is the most popular online home value estimator and the best overall. But being better than the competition doesn't say much.

Our mystery shoppers and researchers give it a B rating, good, but not very good. Zestimate has a national average error rate of 6.9% for off-market homes and 1.9% for homes that are already on the list. If you're thinking about selling, your home is likely still off the market, so you should assume that the off-market rate is the least accurate for you. Most home value estimators publish their average error rate, if they provide one at all.

Average error rates are a bit misleading and hide the fact that home value estimators are often a long way off. While Zestimate isn't as accurate and there isn't a housing estimator, it does get points for having much more coverage. It doesn't cover all properties in the country, especially rural areas, although it does have estimates for 104 million homes, or about three-quarters of all homes in the U.S. UU.

Redfin's home value calculator, Redfin Estimate, is slightly more accurate than Zillow's Z estimate for off-market homes and slightly less accurate for homes currently listed. Redfin Estimate has an average error rate of 6.68% for off-market homes and 2.49% for on-market homes. So, unless your home is already on the market, Redfin is likely to be more accurate for you than Zillow's Zestimate. We give Redfin Estimates a B—, slightly behind Zillow.

This is because Redfin Estimate has less coverage, with estimates for just 92 million households, 12 million fewer households than Zillow. So, despite its greater accuracy, Redfin Estimates is effectively useless to millions more people than Zestimate. We discovered this coverage problem firsthand by testing both estimators. When we entered randomly selected properties in Redfin Estimate, the estimator had trouble finding many of the properties that we could easily find on Zestimate, especially those found in small towns and rural areas.

Of the four major home valuation websites, HomeLight is our least favorite and the only one we actively recommend avoiding. If you use it, expect to receive spam. Unlike the other home value calculators we tested, we had to provide our phone number to get the estimate of the value of our home from HomeLight. Almost immediately after doing so, we were flooded with calls from HomeLight representatives trying to connect us with a HomeLight associate agent.

If you want to avoid receiving this type of spam, use any of the other three home valuation websites we looked at above. What's worse, HomeLight doesn't publish the error rate of its home calculator, so there's no way of knowing how accurate it is. In the tests we conducted, HomeLight generally produced the lowest home valuation estimates or the second lowest. While that's not necessarily proof that HomeLight is less accurate, it does suggest that HomeLight may be using outdated information.

Because the housing market has been red hot for the past year, an estimator that uses sales data that goes too far back will produce lower home estimates. This may be what's happening with HomeLight, but since HomeLight doesn't publish its error rate, we can only speculate. Other companies offer estimates of the value of paid homes, such as Attom Data, Black Knight and Ownerly. These companies generally promise greater accuracy along with much more facts about a property than you would get with a free home value calculator.

However, if you want to sell your house, it doesn't make sense to pay for a budget. A real estate agent can get you a much more accurate CMA for free and without obligation. Most estimators of the value of paid homes are marketed to real estate professionals, such as brokers and investors. If you're considering buying a new investment property, a paid estimator can provide you with some value.

Unfortunately, none of the paid estimators share information about the accuracy of their estimates, making it impossible for us to recommend one over the other. There are many other home value estimators, but most of them are just rebranded versions of one of the four previous calculators. The bottom line is that home value estimation tools are not accurate. On average, online estimators have an average error rate of approximately 2 to 7%.

It may not seem like much, but it can represent tens of thousands of dollars in the sale of a home. In addition, the error rate gets even worse depending on where you live, whether or not your house is already listed, how long ago you bought it, and if it was recently renovated. The problem with all estimation tools is that your evaluations are based on how much “similar” properties have been sold near you. Algorithms must make assumptions about their property that may or may not be true, which inevitably leads to errors.

To get a much more accurate estimate of the value of your home, you should consult a real estate agent and get a free CMA. Living in a booming real estate market can make a home value calculator more and less accurate. Algorithms rely on past sales in your neighborhood to determine the value of your home. If the algorithm uses outdated sales data that, in a booming real estate market, may be as recent as 6 to 12 months ago, that may mean that your estimate will be a long way off.

For example, Zillow Zestimates has its highest margin of error for active listings in Seattle and San Francisco, two of the country's most popular real estate markets. However, booming real estate markets can sometimes make estimates more accurate, simply because there tend to be a lot of sales. The most recent sales data to extract from usually involves smaller margins of error. Unfortunately, no home value estimator publishes how far back they go when looking for comparable properties, so there's no way to know for sure which estimator works best in a popular market.

Just as a booming real estate market can wreak havoc with an estimator's algorithm, so can a slow one where there are likely to be fewer sales, such as in a rural market. When fewer homes are bought and sold, estimators have less sales data to rely on. With less data, just one or two home sales can skew an algorithm. If those homes don't have much in common with your home, then expect your budget to be misplaced.

Because fewer homes are being sold, a home value estimator may also need to rely on older sales data, which will also make the estimator less accurate. If you're trying to sell in a slow market, use any online home value calculator with a grain of salt. When you're serious about selling, contact an agent to give you a much more accurate idea of the value of your home. Home value estimators work by comparing your property to similar properties that have been sold nearby.

That usually works well if you live in a neighborhood where most properties are actually similar. But if your neighborhood has a combination of different types of properties, the algorithm can be based on sales data for properties that don't look much like yours. This is usually a more common problem in older neighborhoods and urban centers. For example, you may live in an urban neighborhood that has a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums, with construction dates that range from a hundred years ago to last year.

While algorithms try to control this variety, they are much more likely to miss the mark and end up basing the estimate of the value of their home on nearby properties that are not similar to their own. In contrast, home value estimates tend to be more accurate if you live in an area with a more homogenous housing stock. For example, a suburban subdivision in which all properties are approximately the same style, size, and age will present less difficulty for an algorithm. Homes that look the same on paper aren't necessarily the same from the buyer's perspective.

A single startup feature can affect how much you can sell it, for better or worse. Unfortunately, many unique features, such as an impressive view or proximity to a busy road, can be difficult for an algorithm to capture. Even renovations, which algorithms attempt to account for with varying degrees of success, can be difficult for an estimator of a home's value to judge accurately. For example, two houses may be listed as having “renovated kitchens”.

But if one renovated kitchen has the latest appliances and high-end materials and the other one has been renovated with cheaper materials, the difference can translate into tens of thousands of dollars. A real estate agent performing a comparative market analysis can spot those differences right away and adjust the estimated value of your home accordingly. An algorithm can't, which is why many of them are often so wrong. All home value estimators rely on publicly available data, such as sales records, to make their calculations.

However, not all states make real estate transactions public. In states where home sales records aren't publicly available, home value estimators have less data to rely on, meaning they're more likely to be far away. In many non-disclosure states, home value estimators aren't even available. If you live in a state where no information is disclosed, bring home value calculators with a large grain of salt.

If you're looking to sell your home, you'll want to contact a real estate agent to get a more reliable estimate of the value of your home. For sellers, a home value calculator will give you a rough estimate of what your home may be worth, but don't rely on it to set your list price. Home value estimates are inaccurate and a real estate agent will be able to provide a more accurate estimate for free with a CMA. Obtaining an exact home value is one of the most important steps in selling your home and, in some cases, buying a home.

As a seller, the exact value of the home will be the main data point you use to set the price of your home. If the home value estimate is misplaced, it could affect you again. You price your house too high and you'll have a hard time finding buyers or your house could languish in the market. If your price is too low, you could lose tens of thousands of dollars.

The best way to get the most accurate estimate of the value of a home is through a CMA made by a real estate agent. A CMA is completely free and has no commitment. You can ask an agent for a CMA without having to commit to using that agent to sell your home. In fact, we recommend getting CMA from two or three real estate agents.

That way, you can get an even more accurate home value estimate while also comparing different real estate agents to see who you think is the best fit for you. Your realtor will carefully select the different properties that are most similar to yours, based not only on quantitative measures, but also on qualitative measures that an algorithm cannot calculate. For example, an agent will consider whether their house has a desirable view or if it is on a busy street, things that most algorithms have difficulty putting a value in dollars. In addition, real estate agents are local experts, they know their neighborhood better than an algorithm, so they know the nuances of what buyers are looking for.

For example, we spoke with Steven Nicastro, a real estate agent from Charleston, South Carolina, who was able to point to houses that he personally knew had recent flood damage. Because algorithms aren't always aware of flood damage, these properties can skew the estimation of a home's value online. It's hard to compete with local knowledge for an algorithm. Your realtor will use homes that are much more comparable to yours and, therefore, will provide you with a more accurate home value estimate than an algorithm could.

Real estate agents also have access to the multi-listing service, which includes photographs and detailed information on real estate transactions. With the MLS, your real estate agent can view photos of comparable properties to get a better idea of their condition, something that an algorithm can't really measure, but that makes a big difference in the list price. Realtors can see if sales of other homes included concessions for buyers, which could result in a different sale price than what you might get for your property. Once again, an algorithm will struggle to account for this type of information and that's why CMAs are almost always more accurate.

You definitely don't want to make any decisions about whether or not to buy an investment property based on what a home value estimator says. Home value estimators have wide margins of error, often between 2 and 7%, that can be translated into tens of thousands of dollars. When you invest, you're looking for an offer. Therefore, the risk of a home value estimator overestimating the value of a property could result in you earning less than you expected or even losing money on a property.

Instead, use only home value estimators to explore potential properties you might want to invest in. There's nothing wrong with getting a rough figure from them to find out how much a potential investment property may be worth. But before you make a real offer on a property, you need to get a much more accurate value estimate through a comparative market analysis. If you're an experienced investor, you may be able to manage your own CMA.

But for all other investors, you'll want to turn to a real estate agent. They can always provide a much more accurate estimate of the value of a home than an online home value estimator provides. Home value estimators are mainly for sellers, but if you're a buyer, you can also use them a little. For example, you may want to compare the list price of a home with what a home value estimator says it is worth.

If the home value calculator says the house is worth much less than the list price, you may be able to negotiate more aggressively with sellers. Price errors are especially common in homes that the homeowner sells, so a home value estimator can alert you if a list price is potentially too far off. But don't rely too much on a home value estimator when making an offer. Even if a home value estimator states that a home is worth less than what appears on the list, the estimator is most likely incorrect, not the list price.

A house listed by an agent will have had a CMA, which is much more accurate than a home value calculator. Agents know this and won't get carried away by buyers trying to get a lower price for what an online calculator says. Determining the value of a home is both an art and a science. When your real estate agent does a comparative market analysis (CMA), it's mostly based on what's called a “comps”.

These are houses that have been sold close to your house and that are comparable to yours. Your agent can also view photos of homes that are for sale or that have been sold in the past. These images give your agent a much better idea of the condition of the home, which is something that makes a big difference in terms of list price. Algorithms have difficulty determining the state of a home, which is one of the main reasons why they often have large margins.

In addition, agents have access to very detailed information about past home sales, such as whether other homes in their neighborhood included concessions for buyers and closing costs, which can have a big impact on the final sale price. As with a mortgage, refinancing requires you to obtain an appraisal to ensure that the loan amount aligns with the real value of your home. A home value estimator is too unreliable for any lender to take seriously. Because the appraisal is done in person, the appraiser has a better idea of the state of your home than an estimator has a better idea of the condition of your home.

That may mean that the appraised value of your home and, therefore, the reason you can refinance it may be far from what an online home value estimator says. But a home value calculator can give you a rough estimate of how much you can refinance, but don't be surprised if that estimate ends up falling far short of what a bank will actually lend you. Appraisals are primarily for mortgage lenders. They don't have much to do with getting you the best list price for your house.

In most cases, the appraisal is done after the buyer has already made an offer on their home. The mortgage lender generally requests one to ensure that the property is not overvalued and that the lender gives a fair amount for the mortgage. Therefore, the valuation focuses more on protecting the lender's interests, not yours. Unlike a lender, your real estate agent approaches the value of your home as a marketing opportunity.

They seek to get you a sales price that is relatively high and that can attract offers from buyers. When calculating value after renewal (ARV), a common rule of thumb is to assume a 70% return on investment (ROI). ARV %3D of the current estimated value of the home + (70% × cost of renovations) While you can use the 70% rule as a starting point for deciding whether to undertake a renovation project, don't rely too much on it. It's not very accurate and some renewals have a higher ROI than others.

Ultimately, you'll need a real estate agent to provide you with a more accurate estimate of the value of the home with a comparative market analysis. The renovations that most increase the value of your home include kitchen and bathroom renovations, window replacements and a new roof. However, while each of these projects will generally add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your home, they are also significant companies, both in terms of time and cost. Simpler projects, such as replacing a garage door or a new coat of paint, are much less expensive, but have a high return on investment.

Before embarking on any renovation project to increase the value of your home, consider current market conditions and your sales deadline. If you live in a popular seller's market, where your home is likely to sell quickly and in excess of demand anyway, renovations may not make much of a difference in terms of attracting buyers. But if you live in a slower market, a remodeled home can help your home stand out from the rest and potentially give you more deals. The appraised value is the value assigned to your property by a government appraiser to calculate your property tax liabilities.

It's different and often lower than the fair market value of your home, which is why your house could be sold on the market. That's why you shouldn't use the appraised value of your home to determine the sale price. The appraised value varies between tax districts, but is generally based on the state, size and characteristics of the home, as well as current local property values. In some areas, the appraised value is a percentage of the fair market value.

Each home value estimator uses its own algorithm to decide how much a home is actually worth. These algorithms weigh different aspects of a property differently, resulting in different home values. For example, an estimator of the value of a home may give more importance to a renovated kitchen than to another. Or, one estimator can only use sales data that goes back one year, while another one uses sales data from two years ago.

These differences are starting to widen, resulting in differences in home value estimates that can be in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sometimes, Zillow and other home value websites simply don't have enough data about a property to estimate its value. This can happen for a number of reasons. For example, if you live in a non-disclosure state where real estate transactions are not publicly reported, Zillow may not have access to enough information about your home to make a Zestimate.

The other potential problem is if there aren't enough real estate transactions in your county or zip code. Z estimates are based on how much properties similar to yours have been sold in your area, so without that data it's almost impossible to estimate the value of a home online. This is more likely to happen to you if you live in a rural area. Michael Warford has been writing about real estate for more than a decade.

Specializes in agent search services, owner sales services, and discount brokers. We consider several factors when assigning a rating to each estimator of a home's value, including error rates and geographical coverage. Because only half of home value estimators publish their error rates, we lowered the scores of those who didn't. We also considered factors that didn't have a direct impact on the accuracy of the estimators, but that could affect the user experience.

For example, if a home value calculator required users to submit contact information and then used that contact information to send them spam, we reduced it. Michael Warford is a content writer at Clever Real Estate. Covers the latest trends and technologies in the real estate sector, with a focus on consumer protection. Before joining Clever, he worked as a content writer for numerous real estate agents and attorneys in the United States and Canada.

From Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. According to global statistics consolidator Statista, real estate websites receive more than 120 million views per month, and key players like Zillow accumulate 36 million unique visitors per month. This shows that real estate websites are becoming very popular on the Internet day by day. They add value to buyers, sellers and investors.

It also allows you to view average rents. They attract visitors by offering free tips to determine how much you can pay in rent and tips on how to fill out a rental application. Zillow has a large database of homes for sale or rent. This can allow you to find potential rental properties, as well as find out the comparable rental rate for a neighborhood.

On the other hand, sites like Rentometer only allow you to estimate the rent for a given property. And Zillow helps you find mortgage lenders, once you find a property you want to buy. It can also connect tenants and landlords. In addition, you should check the rental rates that are charged for comparable properties in the area so as not to charge too much and leave the property vacant.

If you want to find properties in a certain area, Zillow's “Make Me Move” feature is invaluable. You can find properties that are not officially on the market and make an offer. Zillow is free for buyers and sellers. It is a source for attracting potential customers to advertisers and earning money by charging advertising fees to agents, lenders and other home service providers.

Zillow's consumer brands include Trulia, StreetEasy and HotPads.


is a consumer brand of the Zillow Group. The company goes beyond typical advertisements, obtaining information directly from locals and offering more than 34 overlapping neighborhood maps, to give people a deeper understanding of what it's like to live in a house and neighborhood. Clever's concierge team can help you compare local agents and negotiate better rates.

Clever's concierge team can help you compare local agents and find the best expert for your search. Zillow is the number one website that many home buyers and sellers alike go to. It's one of the biggest and most popular sites out there and it's very easy to use. Zillow's Zestimate tool is updated daily, based on millions of public and user-submitted data points.

To get a Zestimate for your home, all you have to do is enter a few basic details. You can also use the Zillow listing database to search for why similar homes are being sold in your area. Trulia is another popular site and is set up similarly to Zillow, but it gives you the estimate in a slightly different way. After you enter your address in Trulia, it will show you the average sales price of similar homes in your area.

Trulia also lists all the standard details about homes, including lot size, square footage, and number of beds and bathrooms. Redfin Estimate offers a quick and easy tool for homeowners to get a quote. On Redfin, you can enter details about any property, learn about the neighborhood, view property taxes, valuations, and more. Redfin is also a broker that uses up-to-date data from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), making it one of the most accurate home valuation websites out there.

Internet home estimation tools are incredibly useful, but even the best websites will tell you that estimates of the value of your homes are just estimates. These estimates are based on available data and assumptions about other comparable sales in the area. Sometimes they're accurate, but sometimes they're not. A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) will give you much more detailed and accurate information than even the best home value estimation website.

To carry out a CMA, an experienced real estate agent will do more than just analyze your address and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but will perform a detailed analysis of all the different factors that may affect the valuation of the home. Some of these sites can also help real estate investors who don't have much room for error when their mistakes have several zeros at the end. With many real estate websites available, buyers can view many homes from the comfort of their homes. If you fall into one of the professional categories (heroes) they serve, Homes for Heroes saves you money by using its extensive national network of real estate agents, lenders and business services that have agreed to serve you with excellence and at a discount.

For active real estate investors, the profits from a transaction found with PropStream real estate software can eliminate that cost. They allow investors to track the financial performance of individual properties and their real estate portfolio as a whole. It's also one of the best real estate websites that can help you achieve your real estate investment goals by offering the largest selection of bank-owned and foreclosure residential homes. Real estate agents, mortgage professionals, banks and inspectors can advertise on these websites to generate leads.

If you're looking for a good deal and don't mind doing light or heavy remodeling, RealtyTrac is a great place to look for affordable properties. Whether you want to list your house for sale with the help of a real estate agent, sell your house without a realtor, or rent an apartment, these 11 real estate websites help you achieve your goal in question. . .

Elizabeth Leen
Elizabeth Leen

Infuriatingly humble internet evangelist. Certified zombie practitioner. Avid food guru. Typical music maven. Total problem solver.

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