Online real estate service HomeGain today launched a revamped online home-valuation tool the company created seven years ago.

At the home-valuation site, consumers can get property-value estimates, connect with a local agent and also access homes for sale in the same area.

“With the new tool, we’ll provide an estimate or range and will show you the comps as well as offer the ability to contact our agents,” HomeGain General Manager Louis Cammarosano said.

A number of online home-valuation services have gained attention over the last year, including the launch of Seattle-based Zillow, which recently added targeted agent ads to its site. Cammarosano said that HomeGain’s approach differs from other competitors in the way it offers to connect agents to consumers interested in getting more information, offering both a lead opportunity and exposure for local agents.

Agents can claim a ZIP code on HomeGain using a monthly subscription-based program. The costs vary according to which ZIP code agents are working in and how many leads they are expected to receive each month. Their pictures and contact information will appear alongside the computer-generated home-value estimates, enabling consumers to contact them either by filling out a form for a more detailed CMA or by sending an e-mail directly to the agent.

“We think that’s a better lead for an agent,” Cammarosano said, explaining that consumers who are just looking will likely be satisfied enough by the computer-generated value estimate, while more serious consumers will take the time to contact the agent.

HomeGain created the home-valuation program in 2000, but turned attention away from it to focus on its Agent Evaluator program, which enables consumers to compare real estate agents before selecting one to help them buy or sell a home.

With the newly launched home-valuation service, Cammarosano said HomeGain is not trying to be the definitive source of home-value estimates, but instead a place to get relevant information and find a Realtor.

HomeGain was founded by Inman News Publisher Bradley Inman, who sold the company to Classified Ventures in July 2005.

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