To give you the INSTANT answer, all of those websites rely on computer algorithms to produce a price. The computer program quickly searches for anything IT thinks is similar, does a little math, and pops up with a number. 

But the computer just can't know everything it should about the property is it considering OR the ones it picks as comparables:

Has the HVAC been replaced?

Is there a new roof?

Are there any pending rentals that convey?

What is buyer demand like?

Where is the market headed?

Before you buy or sell, make sure you have a good sense of the REAL market value. A reputable real estate professional or appraiser can give you an honest assessment. From there you can make better decisions about what to offer when you are buying and what to ask when you are selling.

 To see how online estimates compare with actual sales, check out this table:


Jan - Oct 2017 - Closed Sales By The Duran Group

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Property

Online Estimate Value

Sold Price

Difference






Splash 1406 E

$308,949

$305,000

-$3,949

6805 Beach Dr

$280,074

$235,000

-$45,074

Leeward 101

$298,147

$295,000

-$3,147

Majestic Beach 1605

$233,088

$230,000

-$3,088

Majestic Beach I-1502

$390,374

$380,000

-$10,374

Calypso II-1807

$268,372

$285,000

+$16,628

Sunrise Beach 1010

$313,565

$315,000

+$1,435

5025 Gulf Dr. 2

$331,278

$440,000

+$108,722

Seychelles 1201

$411,381

$390,000

-$21,381

232 Glades Trl

$263,150

$245,000

-$18,150

Tropic Winds 1301

$337,426

$335,000

-$2,426

Calypso I-601

$497,616

$500,000

+$2,384

3829 Mariner Dr

$491,578

$645,000

+$153,422

Tidewater 2915

$252,925

$240,000

-$12,925

4111 Albacore

$400,241

$400,000

-$241

Calypso I-1502

$356,031

$365,500

+$9,469

Sunbird 902W

$156,706

$159,500

+$2,794

Calypso II-608

$387,549

$385,000

-$2,549

193 Park Place

$207,562

$207,000

-$562

Grand Panama 1206

$189,553

$187,500

-$2,053

Sunbird 305W

$167,174

$172,000

+$4,826

Calypso I-1602

$344,774

$393,000

+$48,226

Edgewater Golf Villa 1107

$190,449

$148,000

-$42,449

1001 Lighthouse Rd

$117,172

$115,000

-$2,172

601 Cape Code Dr

$152,405

$118,000

-$34,405

Tidewater 610

$306,656

$308,000

+$1,344

Horizon South 10C1

$95,355

$105,000

+$9,645

Edgewater Golf Villa 310

$283,030

$142,000

-$141,030

Calypso I-1501

$483,813

$506,000

+$22,187

Calypso I-1704

$357,461

$399,000

+$41,539

2805 Redtail

$269,539

$280,000

+$10,461

Calypso I-1707

$268,372

$255,000

-$13,372

Aqua 1906

$315,504

$303,000

-$12,504

Breakfast Point 604

$277,196

$273,000

-$4,196

Emerald Isle 810

$357,564

$362,000

+$4,436

4127 Cobia St

$290,590

$285,000

-$5,590

Seychelles 1909

$423,437

$435,000

+$11,563

Long Beach 1305

$219,351

$210,000

-$9,351

100 Enchantment Falls

$256,826

$248,500

-$8,326

Majestic Beach I-706

$231,864

$237,500

+$5,636

Middleburg Drive 101

$306,298

$292,000.00

-$14,298

En Soleil 423

$731,009

$672,000

-$59,009

Sunrise Beach 2410

$316,502

$305,000

-$11,502

Celadon 1401

$422,570

$442,500

+$19,930
Emerald Beach 2335
$172,419
$175,000
+$2,581

As you can see, by relying ONLY on internet guesstimates, you could be off by some pretty big amounts. If you are buying or selling, this could cost you big time! 

Even Zillow's very own CEO learned this:

 

To be fair, even Zillow says that the online estimates are just starting points. So, what can you do to help protect your wallet in a real estate transaction?

If you are thinking of selling, click on a "What Is My Property Worth?" button like the one at the bottom of this page and let a real estate professional take some time to conduct actual research. You will end up with reliable information that can help you make better decisions.

If you are buying, again, don't rely solely on the online estimates. Contact a professional that can give you some real guidance throughout the process.


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