Free home value estimators claim to know what your house is worth in today's market. But it's hard to tell which website is accurate, trustworthy, and useful.
We analyzed the most popular home value estimators, testing random properties and comparing the results. Our guide ranks the best (and the worst) of the bunch.
A word of caution: Even the best home value estimators can be unreliable. They're often inaccurate in markets with few recent home sales, and may not factor in your home's renovations, upgrades, or major repairs.
We recommend comparing home values from multiple estimators and averaging the values for a clearer picture of your home's value. (Get a free, instant home value estimate here.)
Discover the true value of your home with our Home Value Estimator!
The 5 best home value estimate websites
|Bank of America||B-|
With more than 30 million monthly unique visitors, Zillow is one of the most popular real estate websites and home value estimators.
Zillow's home value estimator ranks as one of the most accurate, and useful. You can get a home's "Zestimate," an estimated sale price range, and a home's value history within seconds.
Wide coverage area. Zillow's home value tool covers more than 100 million homes nationwide, among the highest coverage in the industry, covering more homes than Redfin (92 million).
Home values are updated regularly. Zillow says it updates its Zestimates multiple times per week, except in rare cases, when its updates may be interrupted due to algorithmic changes or new analytical features.
Easy to use. Zillow makes it fast and easy to get a home value estimate (it took us less than a minute), and you don't have to provide any of your personal information for an estimate.
Accurate compared to peers. Zillow home values carry a median error rate of 6.9% for off-market properties, making it slightly more accurate compared to Redfin (7.67% error rate).
We found Zillow's home value estimator among the most accurate compared to its competitors.
|🤔 What is a median error rate?
Zillow's median error rate of 6.9% means that Zestimates for half of its off-market properties sell for within 6.9% of its Zestimate, while half do not.
In other words, a home with a Zestimate of $500,000 should sell for between $465,500 to $534,500. But half of the time it will sell for less or more than that range.
Zillow's median error rates vary widely by state but are typically more accurate in areas with more home sales. For example, off-market homes in California (6.4% error rate) are more accurate compared to Maine (11.2%).
Upgrades and renovations are not considered. Like other home value websites, Zillow's estimator does not factor in your home's major upgrades, additions, or repairs, unless they're reflected on your home's tax records.
Unfortunately, Zillow doesn't allow users to edit a home's listing page to reflect such changes.
Home values are far from perfect. While Zillow's home values compare favorably to its peers, we still ran into some issues.
For example, several test properties had the wrong bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage, contributing to an inaccurate home valuation.
🔎 Our take
Zillow's home value estimator is among the best in the business. Its home values are accurate compared to peers and update weekly.
Zillow is a good starting point for homeowners who need a rough estimate of what their home might be worth in the current market.
Redfin is a national discount real estate brokerage offering low commission rates for buyers and sellers. The Seattle-based company boasts more than 50 million average monthly users on its mobile apps and website.
Redfin says it generates home values by tapping into more than 500 data points about a home, its market, and its neighborhood.
Intuitive homeowner dashboard. Redfin displays far more than just a home value estimate. Homeowners can quickly access local sales information, including a list of recently sold properties, active listings, the current direction of home prices, and a market competition score.
Claiming your home on Redfin also allows you to edit your home facts, and receive regular price and market updates.
Mostly accurate home values. Redfin's home value estimator regularly ranked among the most accurate in our tests.
The company also claims its median error rate is 7.47% for off-market home, trailing only Zillow. Like other estimators, Redfin home values are much more accurate for active listings, with a median error rate of 2.46%.
Home values are updated regularly. The company says its value estimates are updated daily for active listings, and weekly for off-market properties.
Fewer homes are covered in rural areas. Redfin covers about 12 million fewer homes than its top competitor Zillow, and many rural properties we tested did not return a home value. So you may run into issues getting home values in smaller markets.
Uses outdated comparable sales. A comparable sale, or comp, is a similar home that recently sold close to the subject property. Realtors, appraisers, and home value estimators use comps to estimate a home's value.
We found that Redfin regularly uses comps that sold more than six months from the date of the home value estimate, which is too outdated to be considered reliable.
To be fair, many other home value websites also use outdated comparable sales to calculate home values, so this issue isn't specific to Redfin.
🔎 Our take
Redfin's home value estimator comes in just shy of taking the top spot. It covers fewer homes than Zillow, and it doesn't always use the most relevant home sales data to generate its estimates.
However, Redfin still offers a useful home value tool and gets high marks for its intuitive homeowner dashboard and accuracy. It's worth comparing your Redfin home value with other websites.
Launched in 1996, Realtor.com is one of the oldest and most popular websites for home listings. Like many of its competitors, the website also provides users with a free home value estimate.
Receive multiple home values. Unlike other websites that generate a single home value based on in-house data, Realtor receives its home value estimates from three independent valuation providers (Collateral Analytics, CoreLogic, and Quantarium).
Getting multiple home value estimates can help you get a clearer picture of what your home is likely worth in today's market.
Fast and easy to use. Realtor.com's website is one of the easiest to use among those we tested. We received home value estimates on several properties within minutes, without having to provide the site with a phone number or email address.
No sales data. While you can get three home value estimates on a single property, Realtor doesn't tell you how each provider determined the value. There's no mention of any comparable home sales, for example.
Editing your home won't change its value. Realtor allows you to claim your home and edit its key information, but it will not impact your home value estimate.
🔎 Our take
Realtor.com gets high marks for providing its users with not one, but three separate home value estimates.
However, Realtor's home value estimator can serve its users much better by providing the comparable home sales data used to determine its home values.
4. Bank of America
Bank of America is an investment bank and financial services company that offers its customers banking, credit cards, and mortgage loans, among other services.
The company's website offers a variety of home selling tools, including a free home value estimator for both active listings and off-market homes. Users can get an estimate within seconds by simply entering their address.
Fast, free, and easy to use. Bank of America's home value estimator was one of the most user-friendly tools we tested. We received multiple home values within just a few minutes.
(Mostly) accurate property details. Each home value estimate comes with a property's tax record information, including year built, lot size, garages, beds, bathers, square footage, and tax assessed value.
Bank of America also provides users with its list of comparable home sales, so you can see which properties it chose to determine your home value estimate.
No option to save your home value estimate. Unlike Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com, Bank of America doesn't allow users to save their home value. Use other websites if you want to receive regular property value updates.
Comparables are not always relevant. While Bank of America provides comp information, we regularly found its comps to be outdated, with some homes selling over a year ago from the time of the valuation.
🔎 Our take
Bank of America is a decent option for a quick home value estimate. However, its algorithm regularly pulls outdated home sales, so users shouldn't take its home values too seriously.
Chase Bank is another large national bank offering its users a free home value estimate. Unlike several competitors, Chase determines its home values using in-house data. The company says it taps into "millions of records in its database" to provide the estimate.
Unfortunately, we found its database to be pretty unreliable. Multiple properties we tested contained inaccurate or missing data, and Chase regularly uses outdated comps to determine its value estimates.
You can edit your home facts. Unlike several other estimators we tested, Chase allows its users to edit a property's key information and change its info., which may impact its value.
For example, you can add or subtract a bedroom or bathroom to your home, or update its square footage.
On one of our test properties, adding 500 sq. ft. resulted in a value gain of $140,000, based on a value per square foot of $280.
Incorrect property details. Several of the properties we tested had the wrong basic details. A four-bed, three-bath home is listed as a three-bed, two-bath home, for example. Thankfully, you can manually edit your home's key details.
Outdated comparable sales. Like Bank of America, Chase regularly uses outdated or irrelevant comparable sales to determine its home values.
For example, our test property had two comps that sold more than a year from the time of the valuation, and another comp is located more than 3 miles from the subject property.
No way to add in home renovations. Did you renovate your kitchen or bathrooms recently? Don't expect Chase's home value estimator to reflect those improvements in your home value. Unfortunately, there's also no way to tell Chase about these renovations.
Home valuations regularly come in low. After comparing Chase's home values with other tools and our property value estimates, we concluded that its estimator regularly shortchanges its home values.
🔎 Our take
Chase ranks as one of the worst home value tools we tested. While it's one of the few websites allowing you to edit your home's key details, its home values are too unreliable to be taken seriously.
5 other home value estimator options
Here are several other home value websites that missed making our top rankings.
Rocket Homes is the sister company of Rocket Mortgage, one of the nation's largest mortgage loan providers. Its home value estimates are based on sales price data it pulls from public records.
Its home value website provides useful local market information like an estimated time to sell and a housing market conditions tool. But we didn't find its data as accurate or reliable as competitors Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com.
Ownerly is the only home value estimator we tried that charges a fee ($1 for a 7-day trial, and $29.99/mo thereafter).
While the company provides users with a ton of property information, we didn't find its home values any more accurate than Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com. Ownerly also has negative online reviews, with multiple users reporting unfair billing practices.
We didn't find HomeLight's tool all that useful. Unlike other home value estimators, HomeLight provides just a value estimate and no information about a home, so you won't be able to view your home's basic information or comparable sales data.
Eppraisal is a real estate website providing home value estimates using historical data from public records. Users receive a home value, as well as an estimated value range, and can pay $5 for a more detailed report.
However, Eppraisal doesn't provide comparable sales or local market information and offers no way of editing your home's details.
Re/Max is one of the world's largest real estate brokers, with more than 135,000 agents in 110 countries and territories.
Its home value tool does not provide users with its own valuation, as it aggregates home values from SmartZip and Zillow.
How do home value estimators work?
Also known as automated valuation models (AVM), home value estimators are algorithmic computer models that pull public data (tax records and sales data) to determine home values.
Home value estimates are based on property details (bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, age), and the sales histories of five or more similar homes that recently sold in the immediate area.
While plenty of home value websites claim to know what your home is worth, they're only as accurate as the data they can access.
For example, homes in a rural area with few comparable sales are far less likely to carry an accurate valuation compared to homes in a bustling neighborhood – regardless of which home value estimator you use.
Unlike CMA reports and home appraisals, home value estimators don't require a visual, in-person inspection of your home.
Reasons to use a home value estimator
To help price your home
The first step in accurately pricing a home to sell is understanding its fair market value.
A home value estimator can provide a general idea of what your home is worth. It can help you avoid underpricing or overpricing your home, attract more serious buyers, and sell your home faster.
It's best to connect with a local realtor for the most accurate home value estimate (via a CMA report), but a home value estimator can provide a good starting point.
To determine your potential net proceeds
An accurate home value estimate can help you or your realtor fill out a seller's net sheet to estimate how much money you may earn in your home sale.
A net sheet deducts seller-paid closing costs (realtor commission, fees, taxes, etc.) from the home's expected sale price.
While it's impossible to predict an exact sales price, it's still useful to have an estimate for a net sheet.
Knowing your projected net proceeds can also help you plan for the next steps after closing, like paying capital gains tax, funding your retirement, or purchasing a new home.
To offer a competitive price
Home buyers have a few ways of knowing whether or not a seller has accurately priced their home.
The fastest, easiest way is to plug the home's address into several home value estimators for quick estimates.
Buyers can also research the recent sale prices of similar properties in the area on websites like Zillow and Redfin, or simply ask their realtor for a CMA report.
To determine your ability to refinance
Learning your home's estimated value can help you or your lender decide whether or not you have enough equity in your home to refinance.
Homeowners typically need at least 20% equity to qualify for a refinancing based on the home's loan-to-value ratio, according to TransUnion.
For example, if your home is worth $300,000 and you have a mortgage of $240,000, you have 20% equity, and may qualify for a refinance.
However, lenders also consider your income and credit score. Speak with a lender or financial advisor for more specific advice.
4 reasons your home value estimate may be wrong
AVMs use computer algorithms to determine your home's estimated value and are far from perfect.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) even warns that these computer models are prone to algorithmic bias, which can result in valuations coming in too high or too low.
Here are a few reasons why your home value estimate may be inaccurate.
1. The estimator has the wrong information
Our research discovered that several estimators listed the wrong number of bedrooms and bathrooms, or had incorrect square footage, on our test properties.
Home value websites pull property information directly from tax records or public sales data, which aren't always 100% accurate.
Real estate agents and appraisers typically double-check a property's information with homeowners before completing their valuations and can get more accurate data from multiple listing services (MLS).
2. It pulls outdated comparable home sales
A comparable home sale or "comp" is a recently sold property in the same area as the subject property. A comp should be as similar to the subject property as possible.
Both realtors and appraisers hand–pick comps to complete home valuations. These pros can also make price adjustments, accounting for each home's differences in size, features, condition, and age, among other factors.
Unfortunately, home value estimators don't always pull the most relevant or recent comps.
Our analysis found that several home value estimators regularly use comps that sold more than six months from the date of the home valuation. Some even go further than a year (or longer).
We also found that several estimators pull comps from more than 1-2 miles away from the subject property. A realtor or appraiser usually doesn't go that far out, unless no homes have sold in the area.
3. You recently upgraded your home
If you spent thousands of dollars adding renovations or new features to your home, it should reflect in your home value.
Unfortunately, AVMs aren't aware of upgrades because valuations are based on computer algorithms, and they can't see inside your home.
Even if an estimator is aware of recent upgrades, it probably won't know how to properly value each feature (a local real estate agent or appraiser usually does).
4. You live in a non-disclosure state
There's no way to see what comparable homes have sold for in certain states.
Home value estimators are likely way off (or do not provide a home value at all) in certain non-disclosure states.
If you live in one of these states, you have even more reason to connect with a local realtor for a home valuation.
Home value estimators vs. CMAs: What's the difference?
|Who creates it?||Computer||Realtor|
|Timeframe||A few minutes||A few days|
|Best use||Ballparking home value||Setting a listing price|
There are a few differences between getting a home value estimate online vs. obtaining a CMA report from a real estate agent:
- Home value estimators use computer algorithms to determine your home value, relying on public information from tax records and local sales data.
- Realtors create CMA reports using data from local MLSs and usually fact-check a property's information with homeowners before completing the report.
- A realtor visits your home in person and can give you credit for any renovations or improvements you've completed.
Ultimately, a home value estimator is useful for a quick ballpark home value. But it shouldn't be relied on to make a major financial decision, like setting a listing price.
Connect with a realtor for a free, no-obligation CMA report and the most accurate home value estimate.
How to get an accurate home value estimate
Compare multiple estimates
Use multiple home value estimators to get a clearer picture of what your home might be worth in the current market. For example, you can calculate an average home value from the top five estimators on our list.
You can also get CMA reports from multiple realtors, as long as you haven't committed to working with an agent yet.
Compare valuations from multiple realtors to learn more about your local market and how each agent values your home.
Contact an experienced agent
Real estate agents are human. Just like home value estimators, they make mistakes, too.
Some agents are simply too new to the profession to know how to accurately value a home, and unethical agents may purposely inflate your home's value to try to win your business.
Who you choose to create your CMA report is crucial. We recommend contacting an experienced, knowledgeable, and trustworthy realtor.
» LEARN: How to choose a seller's agent
Hire a professional appraiser
While home buyers and refinancers need an appraisal, homeowners can also get one to help set an accurate listing price.
Appraisals are more formal and regulated compared to CMAs and home value estimators. An appraiser's unbiased professional opinion of value is based on:
- An in-person visual inspection of the home, including the age and condition of its major components (HVAC, roof, electrical, etc.)
- A complete analysis of the recent sales of similar homes in the immediate area.
- A breakdown of the home's key details, including its size, condition, age, amenities, and features.
- Current market trends, such as days on market, and sale-to-list price ratio.
However, appraisals are costly ($350-$500) and may take a few days or longer, so keep this in mind before considering the investment.
How we chose the best home value estimators
We tested each home value estimator by inputting properties in several markets and comparing the estimates to our own.
Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com are the most accurate estimators, while Chase and Bank of America are the least accurate.
However, even Zillow home values were frequently off by thousands of dollars.
Zillow says its home values have a median error rate of 6.9% (for off-market homes). This means that half of the estimates on its website fall within the 6.9% error rate and could be off by thousands of dollars, while half could be even more inaccurate.
Only Zillow and Redfin provide users with a median error rate. But our research found that Redfin and Realtor.com carry slightly lower accuracy rates.
Meanwhile, Chase home values frequently came in too low – in some cases, $50,000 or more below our estimates and other websites. Chase regularly uses outdated comparable sales to determine home values and often has the wrong basic information.
2. Coverage area
Nobody wants to plug their home address into an estimator and get no results back, so we tested out each estimator's coverage area.
Zillow rated the highest in this category. It has home value data on 104 million homes, and we had no issues finding home value estimates on all of our test properties, whether it be in major cities, suburbs, or rural areas.
Realtor.com also rated favorably, as we received home values on every property we tested.
Redfin's home value estimator covers 92 million properties or 12 million less than Zillow. While that's still a wide coverage area, we regularly ran into issues, especially in rural areas.
3. Update frequency
The real estate market is constantly shifting, so home values are only accurate when updated frequently.
Zillow and Redfin rate the highest in this category, with home values refreshed regularly.
Redfin says the company's home values are updated daily for homes listed for sale, and weekly for off-market homes.
Zillow publishes updates to its Zestimates multiple times per week. Also, homeowners can manually edit their listing page, which may influence their Zestimate.
We tested out each home value estimator on a browser and mobile device.
Zillow and Redfin are the most functional tools we tested. Their home value estimators are fast and easy to use, allow users to track local market trends, and provide the option of editing home facts.
Chase's home value estimator is the least functional tool. We had issues updating our home facts and viewing comparable sales and found it hard to use on a mobile device compared to other estimators.
5. Additional features
Some websites go beyond just providing you with a home value estimate.
For example, Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com provide users with a home value history, and an estimated net proceeds calculator, to show you what you might net in a home sale.
Redfin gets high marks for its market competition tool. It displays the "Redfin Compete Score," which rates the market on a scale of 0 – 100 (with 100 indicating an extreme seller's market).
Why you should trust us
Clever's primary goal is to empower you to make smarter real estate decisions and achieve your financial goals. We strive to deliver highly objective, practical guides and reviews so you get the best possible outcome.
This guide is updated and reviewed periodically. We may alter our ratings or include (or exclude) home value estimators in the future, depending on if any changes are made to each tool.
All data and company information is subject to change but considered accurate as of the article's last publish date.
About the author
Steve Nicastro is a real estate agent, investor, and personal finance writer based in South Carolina. Our guide pulls from Steve's experience working as a full-time agent between 2020-21, during which he completed dozens of home valuation reports (CMAs) for prospective home sellers and clients.
Our guide also draws on hundreds of hours of research by the team at Clever Real Estate. We tried out dozens of home value estimators, using test properties in several markets nationwide to see which ones work best (and which don't).
Best home value estimator FAQs
What is the most accurate home value estimator?
Zillow is widely considered one of the most accurate home value estimators. However, its accuracy depends on the location of the home, as Zillow is far more accurate in areas with plenty of recent home sales and less accurate in rural areas.
We recommend comparing estimates from multiple websites to get a more accurate picture of your home's value. You can get a free, instant home value estimate from Clever, and use other home value tools, such as Redfin, Realtor.com, and Bank of America.
How can I estimate what my house is worth?
Free online home value estimators are fun to use but aren't always 100% accurate. We recommend comparing estimates from multiple websites for a more accurate estimate of what your property may be worth.
For the most accurate home value estimate, you can get a free CMA report from a local real estate agent, or consider paying for an appraisal. Learn the differences between a CMA and a home value estimate.
Are Zillow home values accurate?
Zillow's median error rate for off-market properties is approximately 7%. While that sounds accurate, it means that half of its off-market properties sell for within 7% of its Zestimate, while half do not. Zillow home value accuracy also depends on the location and market of the home.