Real estate sites deliver nifty data
BY KIM KOMANDO
Sunday, May 06, 2012
5/06/12 at 3:47 AM
If you haven't checked to see how much your home is worth lately, you might be in for a pleasant surprise.
Nationally, the median list price of a single-family home is $189,900, up 5.6 percent from March 2011, according to Realtor.com. Here's another good-news statistic: Inventory of for-sale single family homes is down 21.5 percent on the national level.
But, like the weather, all real estate is local.
For folks who are going to buy or sell a home this year, knowing a broad range of information is crucial. Even if you're staying put, it's smart to know where you stand when it comes to your biggest investment.
Several real estate websites - and their companion apps - will help you do just that.
Zillow: Type in your address - or any home you're curious about - to see what the "Zestimate" is. If you're a homeowner and disagree with a Zestimate, check to see if the facts about your home are wrong or out of date. You're allowed to update your home facts, but you can't remove your home from the site.
If you're an investor or curious about what your home would fetch in monthly rent, Zillow also provides a Rent Zestimate for properties.
Keep in mind that estimates are only starting points. They're no substitute for a professional appraisal or a market analysis.
Trulia: Here you can get an estimate of your home's value simply by entering your address. Edit or add facts about your property if information is wrong or missing.
Trulia is an excellent tool if you're house-hunting. It's helpful whether you're looking to move across town or across the country. Search for homes for sale by city, state or zip code.
In addition to standard searches based on price range and number of bedrooms and baths, Trulia allows more creative searches, too. Already know the market and just need to see new listings as they come up? Confine your search to listings that have been added in the past seven days. Looking for a bargain? Try searching just by new price reductions or look for houses in foreclosure.
Realtor.com: More than 900 Multiple Listing Services across the U.S. funnel home listings here - the official site of the National Association of Realtors. If you're serious about selling and want an informative report on your home's value and comparable sales in the area, this is the place to go.
Click past the front page and Realtor.com becomes a trove of information about mortgages, real estate trends and other topics.
Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. Listen to her each Sunday from 1-4 each Sunday on KRMG am740 or fm102.3. To sign up for her newsletters, go to tulsaworld.com/komandonewsletters.