Understanding the Difference Between Online Resources and a Realtor When Pricing Your Home

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The Internet can be a great resource for a host of things centered on buying or selling your home but in some cases, the most you can expect to gain is a basic understanding of things.  For something as serious and important as pricing your home to either value it or sell it, relying on the Internet can only go so far.  Here we’ve outlined some key differences between the figures you will yield from online sources versus those that have been compiled by your local Realtor. 


In today’s market especially, accurately pricing your home to sell is essential.  With it being a buyers’ market, you will have to gain a solid understanding of allfactors that contribute toward your property’s value.  There can be negative repercussions of pricing a home either too low or too high.  One such scenario is if there was a seasoned buyer who had taken the time to research in advance of searching for homes.  That buyer’s knowing what to expect in the local market seeing your overpriced home could result in a turn-off and you could lose the sale.  By the same token, you stand to get the shorter end of the stick in case of not knowing what you could have charged.  Spending a little more time and/or expense can make a huge difference in the end outcome.  


There are more than several websites where anyone can log on, put in their zip code and be given an instant “analysis” of their real estate value. The figures that appear as results from searches made through online resources stem from a conglomeration of several weeks and sometimes months of data collected from a particular region.  

Websites such as www.zillow.com,www.realtytrac.com or www.trulia.comoffer a great way to get a generic idea of the value that homes in your region are going for or have gone for recently.  As an added resource to other services also offered on these sites, the goal is not to assist homeowners in assigning a selling price on their property based on the data, rather to offer a snapshot on sales and pricing data for the area.  In fact, for many people it is the perfect tool to add an extra edge when determining the fair market value of your home, along with other factors.  


While online real estate tools are a great way to get a preliminary idea, they are only going to yield a figure that will show you where to start.  To get an accurate assessment, you will need to avail the professional services of a Realtor.  The only way to get an accurate “reading” of what the market rates are for homes in your vicinity and your neighborhood in particular, is to have a comparative market analysis conducted by a Realtor who understands your neighborhood.  There is a good chance that they have dealt with properties in the area on a first-hand basis, regularly interact with the agencies and organizations that deal with very homes in your neighborhood and are familiar with the people in various facets that you will end up needing to interact with yourself, as the seller of your home. 

Realtors conduct a detailed Comparable Market Analysis (sometimes also called Competitive Market Analysis) through a series of data compilation of area homes and properties, considering factors such as amount of land, the square footage and number of bedrooms or typical amenities in the neighborhood.  But homeowners can also opt to delve into accurate detail about their property’s value by relying on an independent appraiser.  Also, through the use of CMA data the County Tax Assessor determines the value of your property taxes.  


When you are pricing your home to sell, it is vital that you use all available resources.  At first, it makes sense to “shop around” and get to know the generalities before you head for the specifics.  And as with most transactions dealing with your real estate world, it is always best to rely on your Realtor for quality, effective and accurate information that is relevant to you and YOUR market.