Most agents HATE (and that is NOT a strong word in this case), HATE(!!!) those %@!*&%!! auto-valuation tools on websites like "Z", "T", "H", on and on. As a card carrying Realtor® (and it is pronounced "REAL-tor", not... "rea-LI-tor", I dislike them intensely (HATE).
Also, as a Realtor®, I send people to realtor.com to look because it does have the quickest and most up to date info (like my search engine here for the Hot Springs Boar of Realtors®, it has a direct feed...UNLIKE the other guys).
But, the plot thickens... I got a call the other day from a past client, all happy because their home had gone up in value over $80,000!!!! In the past YEAR!!! (In our market??). They wanted to sell and move. They had seen that their home was valued by an algorithm on realtor.com at this value. I guess it is the old adage that "if it is on the internet, it has to be true", but this does NOT apply to auto-valuation tools for real estate.
I am sure that these algorithms are complicated and have been somehow tested, but lets use this example. My clients bought the last new home built in the subdivision because they wanted a NEW home. This subdivision has not changed. All of the homes that have been constructed within its borders are very similar, the lots are very similar. Unfortunately for this example, the prices are very similar...and that is the SOLD prices. They have not risen...in fact, they have dropped a tad. The best that these sweet people can hope for (IMHO) is to break even on their offer price. Our market here in Hot Springs, Arkansas is NOT one of those headline markets. It is just a market.
You see, it does not help when an algorithm chooses a "comp" from a mile away, or one that happens to be closer (but is on a lake), no matter how complicated it is. Real estate is NOT a virtual experience. YOU NEED A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL.
Did I say I hated auto-valuation tools???? Hmmm