and more websites. Seems like everyone's got one, you can get one for almost nothing, which is what some are worth. On the subject at hand (that would be real estate), there are websites whose ostensible purpose is to give you the value of your house on-line. Neat, huh? The most prominent are Zillow and Truila, but I'm sure others have jumped on the bandwagon. Zillow and Truila, if you're reading this, you know what I'm about to say is true, so save the letter from your attorney:
The primary purpose of these sites is to make money (nothing wrong with that) by selling advertising on the site. Some real estate agents pay a fee for the implied endorsement and to have a link to their own website so that buyers and sellers can simply click over to their site.
Here is the problem and the reason I don't participate (and you knew this was coming): it's a GIMMICK. The hook of offering the "true value" of your home (as though the techno-geeks running the site have a special link to a secure vault buried deep in a mountain somewhere that contains the actual current value of all real estate), is just that. There is simply no way to provide an estimate of the value of any house from a cubicle in India or wherever. They use as data such things as house square footage, lot size, bedroom and bathroom count, etc, compared to other homes within a given radius; in short, data that can easily be quantified, completely ignoring such crucial criteria as location, condition, view, floor plan, lot utility, etc, which don't lend themselves so easily to insertion into the formula. Some have the ability to accept input from agents, but who's to say how valid that is? I wouldn't care, if they didn't imply, by their very nature, some sort of unbiased accuracy (as opposed to them biased, mean, agendized Realtors), but when I hear people spout the most wildly innacurate values for their properties, they've nearly always come from one of these sites.
It comes down to this: if you want an accurate estimate of the value of your house, call a local Realtor active in your area (if you live in PV, Manhattan Beach is not "your area"). Such an agent will have seen all the recent sales, and can give you an informed, professional opinion as to the current market value. I know of one, who can be reached at 310 613-1076.