By Juliya Bokhan


Property Valuation

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Free Property Valuation

Categories : Finance

Property valuation determines how much a property would sell on the market, including land and buildings. It is highly useful to property owners, purchasers, salespersons, investors and even authorities for taxation purposes. With the advent of online platforms, there has been a rise in giving free property valuation estimates to get more people to visit sites and make sales.

Checking the online tools and services that value for free property

The first basis through which property valuation services are evaluated is whether their estimated values are accurate. Free online tools use automated valuation models with limited user input property details and some readily available public records. Valuation estimates provided by these tools mostly have large variances from actual market prices observed during transactions since no detailed onsite inspection, measurement surveying, necessary neighborhood analysis or market research was involved.

free property valuation

Accurate free property valuation requires considering all factors that influence value like area dimensions, floor size and composition, age and state of repair of the building, presence of infrastructure near the building, zoning classification and current trends in the market. Free valuation services require correct information about properties being valued; however, this may only sometimes be obtained by users. Therefore, their analysis remains limited, plus values tend to be relatively generic estimates rather than specific ones.

Most free online calculators mainly aim to offer rough indicative estate prices towards attracting traffic, leading to other revenue-generating services. Thus, their valuations are very limited in use and come with disclaimers. However, professional valuations cater to specific client needs, such as guidance on the sale price, rental estimates, insurance coverage, taxation issues, investment options, dividing property among heirs at law or splitting it in divorce, and many others.

Some recognized standards, ethical codes, and regulations control professional property valuation activity to ensure quality, reliability, transparency, etc. Only certified appraisers who have generally had extensive training know about many deals and have a lot of transaction details for creating relevance of their models towards local market conditions. Free online tools only follow standards that can be accepted everywhere; neither should their quality be trusted.

Most free online property valuation tools focus on specific properties such as single-family houses, condos, or townhouses while leaving out commercial buildings, mixed-use developments, farms, land, etc. Even within the residential space, these may also not account for unique luxury homes, custom constructions, heritage buildings, etc. Professional valuations have limited limitations when it comes to scope, but specialist valuations for hospitals, hotels, mines, etc, often involve credentialed expert appraisers. Scope limitations also hamper free appraisal tools.

One area where automated online property valuation tools score over others is simpler user experience and faster estimation capabilities. Professional valuations usually require engaging an appraiser, site inspections and research processes, plus detailed report writing that could take several weeks to complete. Valuation websites can offer quick indicative figures in minutes through self-service mode; however, their reliability needs improvement. Guidance is needed on how to utilize these tools for maximum effect properly.


Despite their ease of use, free online property valuation tools and services hardly prove themselves useful in terms of actual market price estimates, among others. They need to catch up regarding accuracy levels, dependability factors, and depth and breadth analysis made by professional valuers.