We analyzed the most popular home value estimators, testing a range of properties and comparing the results. Our guide ranks the best (and worst) of the bunch.
Before using an online estimator, know that even the most accurate home value estimator can be unreliable. They're often less accurate in markets with few recent home sales, and they 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. Even then, this is just a ballpark estimate and shouldn't be used for making major financial decisions.
If you're setting a list price, contact an experienced local realtor for a free comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA will give you the most accurate evaluation so you can get the best sale price for your home.
The 5 best home value estimators
Our take: Redfin's home value estimator is the most accurate on this list. It also gets high marks for its intuitive homeowner dashboard. However, it covers fewer homes than Zillow, and it doesn't always use the most relevant home sales data to generate its estimates. It's worth comparing your Redfin home value with other websites.
Redfin is a national discount real estate brokerage offering low commission rates for buyers and sellers. The Seattle-based company boasts more than 60 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 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.
- Most 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 6.47% for off-market homes, which is more accurate than Zillow. Like other estimators, Redfin home values are much more accurate for active listings, with a median error rate of 2.09%.
- 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 didn't return a home value. So you may run into issues getting home values in smaller markets.
- Uses outdated comparable sales. 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 reliable. Many other home value websites also use outdated comparable sales, so this issue isn't specific to Redfin.
Our take: Zillow's home value estimator is among the best in the business. It's a good starting point for homeowners who need a rough estimate of what their home might be worth in the current market.
With more than 200 million monthly 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. Within seconds, you can get a home's Zestimate, an estimated sale price range, and a home's value history.
- Wide coverage area. Zillow's home value tool covers 104 million homes nationwide, among the highest coverage in the industry (more than Redfin's 92 million).
- Home values are updated regularly. Zillow says it updates its Zestimates multiple times a week, except in rare cases when there are algorithm 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.
- Slightly less accurate than Redfin. Zillow home values have a median error rate of 7.49% for off-market properties, making Zestimates slightly less accurate than Redfin Estimates, which have a 6.47% error rate.
- Upgrades and renovations aren't considered. Like other home value websites, Zillow's estimator doesn't factor in your home's major upgrades, additions, or repairs, unless they're reflected in 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. Several test properties had the wrong number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and square footage, contributing to an inaccurate home valuation.
What's a median error rate?
Zillow's median error rate of 7.49% means that Zestimates for half of its off-market properties sell for within 7.49% of its Zestimate, while half do not.
In other words, a home with a Zestimate of $500,000 should sell for around $463,000–538,000. 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 (12%).
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 doesn't provide the comparable home sales data it used to determine home values.
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. Realtor doesn't tell you how each provider determined the value. There's no mention of any comparable home sales.
- Editing your home won't change its value. Realtor allows you to claim your home and edit its key information, but your edits won't impact your home value estimate.
4. Bank of America
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.
Bank of America is an investment bank and financial services company that offers 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. You can get an estimate within seconds by simply entering your 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, baths, square footage, and tax-assessed value.
- Provides 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 you to save your 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: Chase is 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.
Chase Bank is another national bank offering 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 you to edit a property's key information, 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. For example, a four-bed, three-bath home was listed as a three-bed, two-bath home. You can manually edit your home's key details if they're inaccurate.
- 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 was located more than three miles from the subject property.
- No way to add in home renovations. Chase's home value estimator doesn't reflect improvements like kitchen and bathroom renovations in your home value. There's 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.
5 other home value estimator options
Here are several other home value websites that didn't make our top rankings.
- Rocket Homes: 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: Ownerly is the only home value estimator we tried that charges a fee ($1 for a 7-day trial, then $34.99/month). While the company provides users with a ton of property information, we didn't find its home values any more accurate than Zillow, Redfin, or Realtor.com. Ownerly also has negative online reviews, with multiple users reporting unfair billing practices.
- HomeLight: 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: 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: RE/MAX is one of the world's largest real estate brokers, with more than 140,000 agents in over 9,000 offices around the world. Its home value tool doesn't provide its own valuation. Instead, it aggregates home values from SmartZip and Zillow.
How do home value estimators work?
Also known as automated valuation models (AVMs), 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.
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: Why CMAs are more accurate
|Who creates it?
|A few minutes
|A few days
|Ballparking home value
|Setting a listing price
There are a few differences between getting a home value estimate online vs. getting a comparative market analysis (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.
To get the most accurate home value estimate, connect with an experienced local realtor for a free CMA report. There's no obligation to hire the realtor after receiving the report.
Most accurate home value estimator FAQ
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, like Redfin, Realtor.com, and Bank of America, to get a more accurate picture of your home's value. If you need the most accurate value of your home to set a list price, then get a free comparative market analysis (CMA) from a local realtor.
How can I estimate what my house is worth?
Free online home value estimators are easy 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.
What are the reasons to use a home value estimator?
You can use a home value estimator as a starting point for (1) pricing your home, (2) determining your potential net proceeds, (3) offering a competitive price for a home, and (4) determining your ability to refinance. To get the most accurate home value to price your home, get a free comparative market analysis (CMA) from a local realtor. To learn more about refinancing, speak with a lender or financial advisor.
Should I get an appraisal?
Home buyers and refinancers need an appraisal, but 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, a complete analysis of the recent sales of similar homes in the immediate area, and current market trends.
However, appraisals are costly ($350–500) and may take a few days or longer, so keep this in mind before considering the investment. Learn more about whether to get an appraisal before selling your house.
Ownerly vs. Zillow: Which estimator is best?
Ownerly and Zillow give comparable home value estimates. But Zillow's estimator is free, easy to use, and instant. Ownerly costs $1 for a 7-day trial, then $34.99/month, and requires you to provide your email address before sending you its estimate. Learn more about the most accurate home value estimators.
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 7.49% (for off-market homes). This means that half of the estimates on its website fall within the 7.49% 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).