Home prices fluctuate more than you might think.
Algorithms are constantly chewing through mountains of housing data and spitting out home values all the time.
In this article, we’ll see which tools are available to catch some the results produced by these algorithms, letting you see how much your house is worth in near real-time.
While not 100% accurate, these online tools still do a good job at giving you an idea of your home’s value. The more data they can pull about your home, the accurate the estimate will be.
You can type in your address at Zillow’s home page. It will find your home and display everything it can pull in about the home from various data sources.
From this information, Zillow creates an estimate or Zestimate.
Depending on how much data Zillow can pull and how accurate it is, the Zestimate can likely be improved by you. To do this, create a free Zillow account. Now claim the home as yours. You’ll see how to claim the home from the home’s details page.
Once you have claimed your home, click Edit Facts. Make any corrections or add missing information. This can be a correction to square footage, bedroom count, upgrades and more.
Once you have completed your updates, the Zestimate will recalculate using the new information. The Zestimate may or may not change. It depends if the updates you’ve made provide any additional value.
Redfin is another popular real estate website. Although their services are not available in all areas of the U.S.
You can check this page for the latest updates on availability or sign up from the same page to get an email notification when they are available in your area.
You can quickly find out if Redfin is available in your area by typing in your home address on their homepage. If your home is found, you’ll be brought to a home estimate page.
If not, you’ll get a notice to visit the above availability page.
On the home estimate page, click your address. This will bring you to another page that lists all the details about your home, including a historical estimate.
Similar to Zillow, if you want to make any updates to the home facts, you’ll need to claim it as the owner. There’s a big red button on the same page that you can’t miss.
Trulia is another real estate website that offers estimates. While there is some variation across these different websites, you’ll find their estimates are fairly close to each other.
Also, getting estimates from all the mentioned sites in this article will provide you with an accurate estimate range.
Ok, back to Trulia. Just like the other sites, you can type in your address on the homepage and Trulia will search for your home. Once found, you’ll be presented with a detailed page of your home, including an estimate.
In comparison to Zillow and Redfin, Trulia’s home details seems a little lacking.
The page includes many photos of other homes and square images with a link to map view, schools, crime, and other items about the area.
To claim a home as yours, it will need to be off market and, you’ll need to create a Trulia account. Once the home is claimed, you can edit its details, which may improve your estimate.
realtor.com is another popular real estate site. They are available across most of the U.S. This means the majority of home owners should be able to find their home on the site. To do this, type in your address on the site’s home page.
Once your home is found, click its pre-populated address to reach the home details page. The estimate is clearly displayed on the details page. Besides basic home facts such as size, there isn’t much else displayed there.
One of the reasons why the home details page doesn’t have much info is because realtor.com wants you to connect with an agent. In fact, on the right side of the page, there’s a box to fill out to get in touch with a local agent.
If you click “MY HOME” in the top menu, this will bring you to a page where you can again enter your home address.
From there, you’ll be presented with a graph showing the historical estimate of your home - a little more useful than the initial home view from earlier.
From this page, you can sign up to receive email updates when your home’s estimate changes. You can also update your home’s details. Both will require creating a realtor.com account.
Getting an estimate on your home is a quick and easy process. You can get a more accurate estimate by visiting several real estate websites. If you find a site you like, consider creating an account and claiming your home.
You’ll be able to provide additional home details such as upgrades and receive an even more accurate estimate.
Have you used any of these sites to find out what your house is worth?
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.