There are many websites out there that claim to estimate what your home is worth without even seeing your property. Often, these automated home values are wildly off base and can’t accurately reflect your home’s value. To talk more about this topic, I sat down with Kevin Bown, a Dickson Realty agent in our Caughlin Ranch office, to get his insights and thoughts.

Why shouldn’t you believe automated values that try to tell you what your home is worth?

Kevin: The problem with all those sites is that it is essentially a computer making its best guess of what your home is worth. However, the real value of your home is what a buyer is willing to pay for it, period. No machine can really predict that amount because human behavior and emotion have so many unpredictable variables.

Another issue is that these websites are combing through data from a variety of different sources. That’s why three different sites can give three completely different numbers. As a rule of thumb, I usually tell people automated home value estimates could be 10% up or 10% down. However, they also could be 50% up or 50% down. You just don’t know.

Are there any tools you would recommend using to find out what your home is worth?

Kevin: At Dickson Realty, our website includes a “What’s My Home Worth” section. You can type in your address, and we’ll present you with automated valuations from two different very popular valuation sites. We do this without obligation to you, and you don’t have to give us your contact information to use the tool. Using an automated valuation tool can begin the process of making an informed estimate regarding what your home is worth. However, it should not be relied on for actual market value.

So, what’s the best way to really find out what your home is worth?

Kevin: You’re definitely going to want a real estate professional to visit your home, look at the data and investigate it. Realtors® have access to a lot of information. We know the neighborhoods down to a hyper-local level. We can pull recent sales, and we can pull exact matches or “comparables.” We take details into account that computers never have access to—such as the quality of a recent remodel or a view of the mountains. All of this knowledge and expert opinion is available to you without any obligation. So, if you really want to find out what your home is worth, I recommend that you contact a professional real estate agent to help advise you.

If you want a realistic idea of what your home is worth, contact your Dickson Realty agent today. If you don’t have a Dickson agent, click here to find one who is right for you.