Technology

‘Zestimate killer’ said to arm consumers with agent-grade valuation tool

Surefield's valuation tool lets consumers choose comparable homes for estimates without registering
  • A Seattle-based brokerage's home valuation tool lets consumers review photos and listing data to choose comparable homes.
  • Surefield's founder touts the tool as a way to get a top-notch home valuation "without the hassle of talking to an agent or relying on a secret formula that doesn’t look inside the home."
  • The tool's complexity may show consumers the skill required to generate an accurate home valuation.

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Two reasons to take online home valuations with a grain of salt: they aren't explained, and they don't account for the condition of a home. Surefield, a Seattle-based discount brokerage that uses in-house technology to produce online 3-D models, has unveiled a valuation tool that it says eliminates those shortcomings. Taking on other AVMs Surefield's "Pricepoint," ambitiously touted as a "Zestimate killer" by a Surefield spokeswoman, lets consumers handpick the sold and comparable homes they want to use to value a home based on listing data and photos, arming consumers with the same type of software that agents use to produce price estimates, Surefield claims. At least one other valuation tool (Redfin's) also lets anyone select what comparable homes they would like to use for an estimate, but Surefield says its tool -- which currently only covers Washington state -- offers an unprecedented level of sophistication to prospective buyers and sellers. "Finally, consume...