If you're refinancing or selling your home and wish to find its estimated value, a handful of online tools can help you. While it's true that a lender will only accept the valuation of a formal appraisal, any of the following sources can give you a pretty good idea of what your house is worth today:
• Chase Bank Home Value Estimator allows you to print out a summary, detailing the different factors that decided the estimated value of your home.
• Property Shark valuations include recent asking prices and a very useful FEMA flood zone map.
• A Zillow “Zestimate” relies on a proprietary formula, which combines public and user-submitted data to estimate the current market value of your home.
• RealQuest is the consumer snapshot version of the industrial-strength data crunched by CoreLogic. (A report costs $49.)
As part of estimating your home's value, Be sure that any market “comparables” you consider are reflective of the very latest information, and that includes pending sales (transactions that are underway but have not yet been finalized).
Until a sale has been closed and registered in the public property records database-a process that can take eight weeks or more-the are only two ways to obtain specifics on pending sales.
One way is through real estate agents, who have access to pending sales data by virtue of membership to multiple listing services. The second way is to seek out your neighbors who in the process of selling and ask them directly. The latter may seem a tad direct, but it'll all be a matter of public record soon, anyway!