Real estate agents
Real estate agents provide what is known as an ‘appraisal’, rather than a valuation. They base their appraisals on other sales in the area and their experience. Remember, real estate agents are working for the seller (which could be you) who pays the commission on the price they achieve, not the official valuation.
Local agents will also have an extremely intimate knowledge of the area, as well as the type of buyers and any current changes in interest. This will put you in good stead.
Online valuations and reports
Online valuation methods have become more and more accessable to homesellers today and are often the first place they go for a quick and easy report. While these valuations can provide useful general information, remember that no one has walked through the property and factors that make it comparable or not comparable may be lost.
What’s the difference?
A professional valuation is based on market analysis and doesn’t tell you how much someone might be interested in your home. Using this method alone to decide how much your property should be priced when it hits the market could effect the potential selling price of your property.
However, agent appraisals can also differ depending on who you speak to and what selling price they think can be obtained for you if they were your agent. So relying on just one agent appraisal can be of equal disadvantage.