Why Home Appraisals Matter, Even in the Zillow and Redfin Era

Why Home Appraisals Matter, Even in the Zillow and Redfin Era

Many homeowners often wonder about the value of their homes, even when not planning to sell. Some turn to online tools like Zillow and Redfin for estimates, while others remain skeptical due to concerns about the accuracy of automated valuations (with good reason!) 

To gain a clearer picture of their home's worth, homeowners may consider obtaining a professional home appraisal, particularly if they're making financial plans. These appraisals can provide a more accurate assessment of a property's value compared to online estimates.

It's important for homeowners to understand the key differences between automated valuation tools like Zillow and professional appraisals:

  1. Zillow vs. Appraisers: Zillow relies on data and algorithms, whereas professional appraisers consider both data and subjective factors. Appraisers put themselves in the shoes of potential buyers and sellers, analyzing market dynamics to determine a fair market value.
  2. Boosting Appraised Value: Homeowners can elevate their property's appraised value through strategic updates, particularly in critical areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. Consistent maintenance is essential, as unresolved issues can adversely affect the property's worth. Additionally, enhancing curb appeal, improving landscaping, and ensuring proper permits for structural additions all contribute to a higher valuation. It's important to note that online tools lack the capability to assess the property's condition comprehensively.
  3. Influences You Can't Change: Certain factors, such as a property's location and its proximity to undesirable elements, remain beyond a homeowner's control and can significantly impact value.
  4. Working with Appraisers: Engaging with appraisers can be beneficial. Homeowners can provide a comparative market analysis from their realtor, renovation records, and relevant receipts to help the appraiser gain insight into the property. 
  5. Interior Decor's Impact: While a well-decorated home may enhance appeal and potentially raise the sales price, it doesn't necessarily impact the appraised market value. A skilled realtor can create a positive first impression, potentially boosting both the sales price and speeding up the sale. Conversely, a neglected interior can lead to longer market times and a reduced sales price, underlining the importance of perception in real estate.
  6. Disagreements with Appraisal: Homeowners have the option to challenge an appraisal by presenting credible data for reconsideration. 

In summary, homeowners should recognize the limitations of online valuation tools like Zillow and Redfin and consider professional appraisals for a more precise assessment of their property's value. Factors like property condition, updates, location, and interior decor can impact appraised value. Working closely with a trusted realtor can be instrumental in this process, as they can provide valuable insights and help homeowners understand and potentially enhance their property's appraised value.

Excerpts from article courtesy of San Jose Mercury.

Work With Karen and Jen

We pride ourselves in providing personalized solutions that bring our clients closer to their dream properties and enhance their long-term wealth. Contact us today to find out how we can be of assistance to you!

Follow Us on Instagram