10 Home Value Websites to Lookup the Value of Your Home (and your neighbor’s home)

10 Websites to Look up the Value of Your HomeThe captain has turned on the seatbelt sign as an indication that the housing market has been cleared for landing. Please bring your seat backs and tray tables to their upright and locked positions. Turn off all electronic devices, and most importantly, assume the crash position.

With housing prices falling, I thought this would be a great time to list the many online tools you can use to watch your home’s value fall. Of course, the most recognized option here is Zillow.com, but there are several alternatives, many of which in my experience provide a more accurate value than Zillow. In addition to the list that follows, I’ve run through each appraisal website my childhood home in Ohio (Go, Buckeyes!). It is a 4 bedroom, 1.5 bath single family home. I am reasonably confident that the home is worth about $150,000. Let’s see how each appraisal website valued the home:

  1. Zillow is the behemoth of free home value websites and scores a 10 on both the fun factor and name recognition. As you’ll see, it came pretty close to the value of my childhood home, although it’s off by about 20% on my current home outside of Washington, D.C. (Value: $153,315)
  2. Real Estate ABC is a great alternative to Zillow and, I believe, provides much more accurate home values. One cool feature it offers is a list of potentially comparable homes that you can select from to be included in the valuation. The idea is that you know best which homes in your neighborhood are true comparables to your home, and Real Estate ABC gives you the option to select those homes and exclude the others. (Value: $149,000)
  3. Eppraisal, in addition to home values, provides demographic data about the neighborhood, including education, finances and employment. (Value: $154,759)
  4. Reply has a clean looking interface and provides a confidence rating for each of its appraisals based on various factors related to the comparable homes used to generate the appraisal. In the case of my childhood home, the confidence rating was 92%. (Value: $143,338)
  5. What Yahoo! lacks in originality, it makes up for in convenience. Yahoo generates its home values using Zillow, Eppraisal and Reply, so you can quickly and easily see three appraisals for your home, with links to each of the three websites. (Value: See Zillow, Eppraisal and Reply)
  6. HomeGain offers market and census data in addition to home values. Unfortunately, my childhood home was not in its database. I did check my current home, and the value was reasonably close, so HomeGain is worth a try. (Value: Priceless)
  7. CyberHomes is a no nonsense home valuation tool. For the homes I’ve searched, it provided reasonably accurate values and provides much of the same demographic data that the other websites offer. Value: $148,599)
  8. Property Shark’s database is very limited. I searched for a number of homes, non of which were included in PropertyShark’s database. You may have better luck. (Value: Nada)
  9. HouseFront is another alternative with what appears to be reasonably accurate home values. (Value: $156,000)
  10. Rentometer doesn’t provide the value of the home, it provides the estimated rent one would pay to rent the home. This is a good resource to have, so I’ve included here. Although Rent-O-Meter has been hit or miss in my experience, the rental value it assigned to my childhood home is very accurate. (Rental Value: $1,200/month)

In addition to the above options, there are websites that either charge a fee for the online appraisal or require you to enter contact information that will be sent to a local real estate professional. I didn’t try any of these, but here they are:

Published or Updated: March 15, 2014
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. Pinyo says:

    This is an awesome list! I have been using Zilow and thought it’s a bit high. I will recheck my home value today. Thank you.

  2. Al Brockman says:

    Great list of sites. However, in North Kingstown, RI, none of them work out even close. I have done a great deal of analysis on my property because I want to sell. All of these sites give numbers that are way high! Several of them seem to put a lot of weight on $ per square foot. That calculation is really not worth much for a number of reasons (e.g. amount of land). They do work in areas where the houses are very similar (e.g. Plano, TX).
    So far, I find the most reasonable approach is to look at the ratio of actual sales price to assessed value. You do have to look at houses that have sold in your general price range, living area and lot size.

    My bigger (much) problem/question is how do I choose the right agent to sell the house?

    Any thoughts?

    Al

  3. DR says:

    I have a couple thoughts on finding a great agent. The first place to start is with referrals. Find friends or family who have used an agent with success and schedule an appointment to meet with them. Second, some agents specialize in certain communities or developments. I know where I live near Washington, D.C. there are a few agents that have a lot of experience in my development of about 1,500 homes. They should have a very good idea of what your home is worth, AND, they will have seen many of the homes in your community by way of comparison. Finally, you do have to consider whether to sell the home without a realtor. I’m not recommending that approach, because I think it’s a decision each homeowner has to make on there own. That said, I own four single family rental homes that I bought without an agent and will eventually sell them without an agent.

    Best of luck with the sale.

  4. Al Brockman says:

    A couple of comments. If you’re buying, then it is relatively easy to get comments about realtors from friends/associates. However, if you’re selling, most of the references (good and bad) have moved to somewhere else. Also, it is relatively easy when you’re talking relatively homogeneous development areas with like types of houses. An example, our daughter and family lived in the plano, TX area – all of the houses are almost cookie cutter, with some differences of living area – easy to value.
    Here in RI, it is a different story – every house is fifferent. The area we live in has 234 homes and the prices vary from $190,000 to $1,100,000 and there is only some rhyme or reason.
    In this market, I really don’t think FSBO is a viable option.
    I certainly would appreciate any additional comments.

  5. Arthur says:

    I noticed that none of them work in Michigan.

    I used to have Real quest and they promised a lot they could not deliver.

    Finding comps in Michigan is real hard.

    I resorted to looking at the Realtor listings and knocking 15-20% off of the price to get a reasonable apraisal.

    It seems that not even tax values are recorded in Michigan.

    • DR says:

      Arthur, that’s odd. I wonder why they have so much trouble with estimates in Michigan. In Ohio, the estimates are reasonably accurate. In Virginia, it can by hit or miss.

  6. Nizzo says:

    Nice information – Thought provoking comments also!

  7. IV says:

    An interesting comparison. I live in New Mexico, which is a non-disclosure state, so these programs really have to scramble hard to get comps. I bought my house 6 months ago, and the market went up and back down since then, with a real-life appraisal done a couple weeks ago telling me it’s worth maybe 1-2% more than I paid for it, based on the most recent comps. So, the results?

    Zillow knew that it had sold, but not the sales price, and gave me a value about 15% higher than appraisal.

    R.E. ABC knew that it had sold, but gave no opinion of the value.

    Eppraisal gave a range from 1% below the sales price, to 33% over it, and did not appear to know about the sale.

    Reply.com was about 40% below value (!) I asked it for comps, and it gave me a list of its own rendered values for every house within 3 blocks, but had no comparable sales data. Suffice it to say it did not have the subject sale.

    HomeGain had a range from 20% – 10% below the sales price, and did not have the previous sale.

    Cyberhomes was most interesting for me. They had a spot value, 1% over sales price, within rounding error of the mortgage company’s appraiser. They did not appear to have the previous sale, and when I asked for comps, they ranged about 10 miles away, and several hundred thousand dollars apart, so it’s difficult to see how they got a value so close to the sales price and the appraisal. If they got the MLS record, the comps should have been better. Maybe the mortgage company is selling their appraisal data?

    Property Shark – doesn’t cover this area. bummer.

    HouseFront – Crazy. They know when I bought the house, but they think I paid 25% higher than I did. Then, they think the current value is 10% lower.

    So, all in all, less than satisfactory in a non-disclosure state. And the thing is, MLS listing data is available to the public here, so there’s no excuse for the sites not knowing the square footage, room count, age, and other details, for properties that have been listed. Plus, with the list price, you might have a better handle on values, even without knowing the sales price.

    Thank you for a very informative article.

  8. Rory says:

    As a real estate agent I can tell you that the best agents come via referrals. If you are having trouble finding one as a potential seller, I would go for the one that has the largest market share. Scan the local newspaper to see if there is one single agent with more listings advertised, and interview that one as well as two or three others.

    Most people will be tempted to pick the agent that they think will sell their home for the highest price. You should pick the one who works best as your employee, because the market will dictate price more than your agent can.

    Finally, for a take on Zillow, and other automated home pricing sites, I’d suggest you read this review/interview from US News and World Report. I also have further coverage of Zillow in particular on my real estate blog.

    I hope the readers here find this advice useful.

  9. While some of these sites are great for getting statistics and general information about a home, the values given are incredibly innacurate most of the time. If you really want an accurate picture of your homes value it makes a lot more sense to ask a well respected Realtor that knows the community, neighborhood, and Real Estate values well.

    • DR says:

      Hopkinton, I agree. I think the websites provide good information, and I’ve found some to be more accurate than others, but nothing can replace a thorough knowledge of the specific market.

  10. hank says:

    I like the post – I use most of them in my net worth statement monthly. I know none of them are completely accurate, but I take 6 of them (housefront is one I haven’t used before but might throw it into the mix) and take the average of all of them to find my value. It is actually pretty close, and gives me a sense of value in the huge debt I’ve put myself in with the house… :)

  11. Mike says:

    AVM’s, or Automated Valuation Models are great and we have them at http://www.homesmartreports.com. We access multiple AVM’s and are always trying to get you the best value, but there’s something else.

    We also analyze market strength and risk factors. Here’s the point of that. Assume you have two properties valued at $175,000. You like them both equally and they seem like realistic values. If you knew that one of the propeties was in a very stable area and one was in a high foreclosure, high-volume flipping area (a very volatile condition), which would you choose? Our reports will help you make that determination.

    So there are no surprises, we charge a fee. Reports range from $6.95 to $19.95 depending on how much information you want. It quality information and my partner and I have been in the business for a combined 47 years. Another goal of our website is to educate consumers and investors on what to look out for as they traverse a real estate transaction. please have a look at us.

  12. I use Zillow on a reagular basis, but have not tried a few of the others you have listed. I will give them a try.
    Thanks,

  13. Eric says:

    I keep track of Zillow and although the absolute numbers are not meaningful, the direction the prices are moving do make sense. It is easier to understand that my house has lost 20% value than to say that Zillow can accurately predict the selling price with any precision.

  14. find home value says:

    Is anyone here aware that most real estate agents are actually willing to assess your house and give you a free property estimate? Too many people are just looking for a quick answer, but if you’re considering selling your home, you really need to work with a local real estate agent. There’s no doubt about it.

  15. Great list man. This made my day. Really appreciated.

  16. Greg Glockner says:

    Today I launched EstiMike – another tool for estimating the price of a home. EstiMike is designed to complement other great sites like Zillow: not only does EstiMike provide you an estimate, it also explains exactly how the estimate is produced. Try it and let us know what you think of the service!

  17. There really is no substitute for having a good Realtor pour over the numbers and provide the price based on current market conditions. While the sites mentioned can be used by consumers as a guide, they should be only that.

  18. Jim says:

    I did a check on Estimike which is listed by Greg Glockner above, another tool for estimating the price of a home can not be found.

  19. Ron Smith says:

    Good Blog. We use a lot of the resources posted.
    thanks
    Ron

  20. yeah right says:

    None of these sites accurately project correct home values AT ALL. They are a hindrance to home buyers and sellers because they give either an inaccurate view of value to which the buyer and seller hold. Don’t rely upon these sites to value your home. The best way to value a home is to have it appraised. And even then, appraisers make mistakes.

  21. Su says:

    While it is smart to get information from as many sources as practically possible, the websites mentioned may be too ambitious for determining value of a home. I agree that appraisers are the best way to determine a home’s value. Great article, I didn’t know some of these services until you wrote about them.. Thanks!

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