Are You Relying on the Right Source for Your Home’s Value?

With the ease of use and accessibility these days in finding information on the internet, it is not hard to understand why so many folks might want to rely on this information to satisfy their daily questions. When you can literally just ask “Alexa” or “Siri” a question and get a response, society has become very trusting as to whether these responses might be accurate.

This brings me to the topic of home values. I hear folks all the time say “can you believe this home is just like mine and the Zestimate is three times higher?” In this situation, it comes down to the adage that real estate is about location, location, location. But, if you dig a little deeper, there is a lot more to what you might find on these types of real estate platforms.

I am continually trying to emphasize the fact that not only is real estate about location, it is also LOCAL. What is going on in Charleston is certainly not comparable to what happens here when it comes to home values, much less in a totally different region of the country. That isn’t to say that we don’t have a good thing going here, but Charleston does have that tiny little added benefit of being on the coastline. So, when you read about housing statistics, many times what is happening throughout the country, or even the Southeast region, might not be what is happening in the upstate of South Carolina.

But let’s get back to the real estate web sites that tend to be most popular. When you see a home value on these sites, do you trust that value? I find that many times when I first meet with my clients to discuss pricing a home, they already have the value in their mind that they are hoping to get. That might come from keeping an eye out on the homes that have sold in the neighborhood, but more times than not I have found that they found their value from a web site that readily gives them this information for free. Depending on the level of trust they have with this preconceived estimate, it can make showing them a true appraised value from a competent comparable market analysis very difficult, especially when the actual value is lower. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes their value and the one I have established through thorough research and 20+ years of experience can actually be very close. But most of the time it is not.

How does this happen? The main reason is the use of inaccurate information, such as county tax records, to find “comparable” homes. If the square footage in the county tax database is not accurate, which happens to be the case many times in our area, that can make the list of comparable homes inaccurate. Also, because the online site takes a radius of homes around the subject property, if you live across the street from either far more expensive or far less expensive homes, the use of those homes to compare to yours would also render an inaccurate estimate.  

The bottom line here is to trust the pros and call a local Realtor®. That way you can get the knowledge and experience of someone who can give you the best information to use in helping to find an accurate home value. It can make the difference in thousands of dollars when you sell your home. Check back here later for a lengthy list of other good reasons why you should use a Realtor!

Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® represents over 2,900 members in all aspects of the real estate industry.  Please visit the Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® web site at for real estate and consumer information.

“Every market is different, call a REALTOR® today.”


Written By: J. J. Bowers – Agent with RE/MAX Realty Professionals in Greenville, SC and 2019 President of The Greater Greenville Association of Realtors®