Best FREE & Instantaeous "Home Valuation" Websites


The Truth:  The sites listed in the chart below provide a good "starting point" .... but honestly none can provide you with a genuinely valuable assessment (CMA - Comparative Market Analysis) of your home's "Fair Market Value" (FMV)    Why? They're all computer generated and rely, primarily if not exclusively, on Public Tax Records which aren't always accurate....and don't have any clue how your home compares, in reality, with your neighbor's home that sold 2 months ago for $x.  Maybe you have substantially updated or extended the square footage of your home and your neighbor did not. Both you and the online "Home Valuation Generator" site (ie., Zillow) may not know the actual difference between your home and other Solds in your neighborhood or zip code. 

One of the primary difficulties now in assessing the FMV of a home is identifying those homes, among the solds, that are foreclosures and short sales.  If your home will be a "regular sale" then it should not be compared -- officially by an appraiser -- against short sales.  It may be compared with foreclosures but with restraints.  Both Short Sales & Foreclosures are classified "distressed properties."
Website Description/Evaluation
This is a link to www.realtor.com's "instant home values" link. Realtor.com is basically okay.  It provides "closest homes" (home sales closest to the subject property location) AND "most recent sales" which is fairly up-to-date.
Fast Values It's okay.  Data includes:  the distance from the your home of the other comps, the sales price, close date, # of bedrooms & baths, Sq.Ft., & year built. Ultimately, that won't tell you much about what your home is worth b/c that's not enough information.  You may have a 4 level colonial that's been renovated and one of these comps is an unrenovated 2 level rambler
Fairfax County Govt Valuations This is a good resource.  Locate Sold Homes by entering a specific property address.   includes info re: whether a specific sale was "verified" (trustworthy price) or whether it was some sort of "distressed property" price.  Also includes the tax record information for the property too and info on any nearby building permits requested and issued. 
 Zillow Valuations



The following "free home value" websites are essentially pointless: 


In my opinion, they are: justlisted.com, housevalues.com, homegain.com -- pretty much all the ones you see advertise on TV.    Why?  Well, because they are all essentially just "middleman" websites -- they don't actually provide you with the service you seek.  Instead, they collect your personal data...and then put you in contact with a REALTOR® who can provide you with information you seek -- a CMA of your home.  These sites are designed, primarily, to generate business for their clients -- REALTORS® -- who paid to join their website in hope of attracting more clients to themselves -- you -- buyers & sellers.  Why bother with a "middleman" website? 

Instead, just call a local REALTOR® and/or Real Estate Brokerage yourself, directly.  No reason to involve a "middle man" who doesn't do anything except connect you with a REALTOR®.  You can do that yourself quite competently.  Besides, once your contact information is in one of those middleman real estate databases, you'll continue to receive advertisements and additional contact from them. 

Best to ask your friends & relatives which REALTOR®s they used and contact those agents.

That said, I do recommend one REALTOR® in particular . . . and she's a very conscientious and honest REALTOR® with 15 years experience representing buyers & sellers in the purchase/sale of real estate in Northern Virginia -- Me.    



Receive a FREE simple CMA (Comparative/Competitive Market Analysis) of your home, from me, via email, within 24 hours.

This report will look essentially like the "Neighborhood Home Sales" reports your receive, periodically,  in the mail from local REALTORS®...although the CMA I provide you will include all neighborhood/subdivision homes currently "Active" "Under Contract" and "Sold" as of the date the report is generated.  

Click on the photo to see a Sample SIMPLE CMARemember:  "you get what you pay for." This report is one that I (or any other Realtor) can generate, from the MLS/MRIS system within 10-15 minutes...which is why it's "free."  However, this is the CMA design ("quick review") that I created in the MLS (MRIS) for my own use and includes more detail about a property and it's comparables than does most CMA flyers you get in the mail as well as online CMAs.   


To receive a detailed & reliable CMA of the Fair Market Value of your home, I'll need to see your home and then prepare a comprehensive analysis.

Click on the photo to see a Sample DETAILED CMA.  This CMA is part of my listing presentation.  In this complex real estate market, I'll need to preview your home first and then study your specific neighborhood/area market to locate comparables that an appraiser will accept. If you will be selling your home as a "regular sale" and not a "distressed property" there are specific appraisal guidelines & parameters that I need to follow closely.  The market also changes quickly and every new sold (as well as current actives & contracts) will affect the ultimate price and appraised value of your home.  I'll most likely need to perform more than one detailed CMA -- an initial evaluation and a final CMA report close to the time you list your home.  And, the only appraisal that matters is the purchaser's lender's appraisal.  On occassion, it's necesssary to challenge that appraisal. To do so successfully -- and I've been both successful and unsuccessful in challenging an appraisal -- I must know exactly why my comps are more accurate than an appraiser's comps and it can be just one comp that throws off the appraised value.

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Karen Davidson, REALTOR®    Direct: (703) 927-4448   ♦  Toll Free Fax:  1 (866) 429-8851   Licenced in Virginia

SAMSON Properties - Alexandria / Kingstowne   ♦   6408 Grovedale Drive  ♦  Suite 204  ♦  Alexandria, Virginia  22315   ♦  Office: (703) 378-8810

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