What's my home worth?

How to get the most accurate home value

I was recently asked by a Venture Capitalist who had used Homing In to get a home value why there was a range of 6% between the agent’s values and how come they weren’t closer.  He had submitted his home in San Diego on the app, and didn’t take any pictures or write any notes.

The answer is simple.  Without pictures and notes your home valuation isn’t going to be as accurate as those that have numerous pictures and notes.  The record, is a homeowner took 16 pictures of his home and about two paragraphs of notes.

most accurate home value

You’d probably be shocked to find the value he got was pretty close to what it will likely sell for and much more accurate than any automated valuations.

But people like that are in the minority.

About 80% of all home value requests that come in have 1 or no pictures at all.  There is a big problem with this.

First of all, many agents are less than likely to even want to tackle the task of responding when a homeowner doesn’t take photos.  They believe the owner isn’t serious about finding out their home’s value and so the agents don’t spend time doing it.  Fully 70% of all home value requests without a picture go unanswered.

Secondly without photos and notes, its less likely that those key elements that give your home a different value than the home next door that just sold (upgraded kitchen, hardwood floors, indoor pool, custom window coverings, etc) don’t provide enough information to even get close on a home value.

Since I go through every single agent submitted home value, I noticed one that only had a single outside picture of the house.  The agent’s comment was that the home could be worth between $220,000 and $280,000 for that floor plan because it was an older home and some homes in the area hadn’t been updated in 30 years and others had.   Without those pictures, agents are guessing, albeit more accurately than automated valuations.

Since even the best automated home values are, on average, 5% or more off in value 50% of the time, and 75% of all agent values tend to be within 3% of actually selling price, its much easier to nail down what your home might be worth with more agents responding to your home request.

That means taking more pictures and entering notes.  Here is a good example of a homeowner note that came in today, although there was only a single picture of the front of the house.

A homeowner in Richardson TX requesting a home value

It probably didn’t take more than a couple minutes for the homeowner to give this detail about their home, and most likely they will get a few responses from good agents that will likely all be very close in value, and also likely to not be close to most automated guesses.

More information usually trumps less information and despite no interior pictures, this homeowner is going to get a reasonably close value for their home.

And some real estate agent might end up with a new client as well.


Todd Miller 15 Feb 2017