There’s a new AVM on the block. Cyberhomes.com from Fidelity is the latest entrant into the fray. It is of course “Beta”. Everything even remotely new seems to be tagged beta. Beta is cool I guess.
They proclaim to have valuations for 100 million homes. I didn’t count them all, so I’ll take their word for it. It is significantly more than 67M the older, more established (yet still Beta) Zillow claims to hold.
So does it work? Sure, sort of. About like any other AVM out there. I checked my house on three of these things, here’s what they said:
Despite these three each having “proprietary formulas” to determine home value, they all returned remarkably close values. I suspect that’s because they all obviously use the same data. I say “obviously” because each of these three AVMs had either “N/A” or “-” for the number of bedrooms. (I assure you that my home has bedrooms), and each had virtually the same incorrect number of bathrooms (interestingly, one said I had 2 and 2/3’s baths. I’ve never seen a 2/3’s bath). And each had my lot size with identical (albeit incorrect) square footage. They all pulled the same comps as well, missing of course the two most recent comps from just down the street (comps that put the value of our home at closer to $415K)
I will say this about Cyberhomes.com. It had the clearest aerial image of my house of all three. For what that’s worth.
I’m not a big fan of AVMs. I’m not an enemy of them either. Nor am I afraid of them like a lot of agents are. They are what they are. They are chunks of code attempting to place a subjective value on an item. They can’t see the item. They can’t hear the neighbors dog barking, they don’t know just how great the view is. They don’t know all the subtle neighborhood amenities. They don’t know about the red wine stain on the carpet or the body in the closet. They are what they are — a single piece of data in the complex process of home valuation.
[tags]cyberhomes, zillow, realestateABC, AVM, automatic valuation method[/tags]