What's My Home Worth? Proceed with Caution!

Even if you're only 'thinking' about selling your home chances are you've probably been online looking at information about how much your home is worth.

If you haven't talked to a Realtor yet then you've probably done one of two things:

1.  Visited Realtor.com (or Zillow, or Trulia or one of the other similar websites)

2.  Responded to a mailer or online ad offering you a 'Free Instant Home Estimate'

While there may be value in these resources as part of your "tool kit" when considering selling your house you should carefully consider whether the information is correct or entirely helpful.

Automated sources of home value information have several important limitations which can distort the value of your home making it too high or too low and can frequently influence an owner's decision to either - Not List because the price appears too low or Decide on an unrealistic list price because the online value is too low.  Neither of these situations is good for a seller. 

Why is online information unreliable? 

1.  Automated Valuations may be based on incorrect information

Online estimates are usually based on Public Record information and may or may not include information from the local listing service (MLS).

2.  They will not take the condition of the property compared to others into consideration

Usually based on basic features and square footage most online estimates won't take into account whether a house has been upgraded or when components like, for example, the roof have been replaced.

3.  Computers may not factor the 'right' comparables into their calculations.

Online estimates will use nearby homes as comparables - but those nearby homes may not be comparable at all.  Adjacent neighborhoods of similar size homes may have important factors which give them different value - school district, community facilities or the standard of the original builder.

4.  They will not give value to special features and upgrades

Items like granite counters, flooring upgrades, home technology systems and landscaping improvements probably won't be correctly valued if you trust a computer.

Relying on a computer algorithm to correctly price your home is a little like trusting WebMD to diagnose an illness but you do have another option which will provide a carefully researched result based on the "real" facts on your property and appropriate comps.  

Scheduling an in house consultation with a professional Realtor like our agents at Charlotte and The Lake Real Estate will give you a pricing recommendation (a Broker Price Opinion or BPO) which you can trust.  

So what does a Realtor do differently?

1. Check that the publicly listed information available about your property is correct

Realtors have easy access to a broad range of public information and reviewing it with their clients is part of the process.

2. Visit the property

Before providing a price opinion a Realtor will visit the property and ask important information about improvements and changes.  They will also ask for up to date information about the age of items like the roof and HVAC system which can impact price. 

3. Choose the correct 'comps and make sure that their features/limitations are properly accounted for

Realtors should take the time to research the correct comps.  They should carefully consider which properties to include in their analysis and do their best to make sure that they understand the reason that those properties sold at the price which they did.

4. Make recommendations on items which can be updated/repaired/removed to improve value.

Reviewing the condition of your house with a Realtor may help you to identify small improvements which could increase the value of your home.  Realtors, especially those who work with both buyers and sellers know what features are popular and which improvements offer the best ROI. 

It's important to remember that it's never possible to exactly predict the price at which a house will sell.  No-one, not even a Realtor (!) has a crystal ball!

At Charlotte and The Lake Real Estate our Professional Realtors

  • Have the experience to know what features are considered particularly valuable to buyer clients 
  • Specialize in  the local market and have the knowledge needed to prepare a valuable Price recommendation.
  • Have the educations & skills to explain  why they have suggested this price for your home and the factors affecting their calculation. 


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(704) 408 0733




PO Box 481487, Charlotte NC 28269

Charlotte and the Lake

Louise Norton
(704) 408 0733



PO Box 481487, Charlotte NC 28269

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