A Dartboard By Any Other Name

Estimated Value:  $615,101
Estimated Value Range:  $547,440 – $682,762
Confidence Score:  82
Forecast Standard Deviation:  11

–“Estimated Value” by CoreLogic; Hennepin County tax records excerpt.

Sorry, estimating a home’s value — with a range of guess weightmore than $100k (or $136k, in the case of this Eden Prairie home, above) — doesn’t really tell you anything.

It’s like going to the circus and having someone guess your weight as “130 pounds, plus or minus 30” (if you’re a woman), or “170 pounds, give or take 50” (if you’re a man).

Or if you prefer, throwing darts at a dart board.

Margin of Error?  A LOT

At least, that’s my take on the new feature darton Hennepin County tax records that purports to estimate home values.

And no, estimating values literally to the dollar — note “$615,101” vs. say, “$615,000” — or couching the projected price range in “forecasted standard deviations” doesn’t make CoreLogic’s numbers any more scientific.

Or accurate.

See also, “The Too Price Precise — Exhibit A“; “Why Realtors Hate Zillow“; “Automated Valuations in CyberHomes, Zillow, etc.”

As discussed in these posts, third-party Web sites provide (wildly inaccurate) estimated market values for exactly one reason:  they attract eye balls (i.e., traffic) to their sites, which can then be converted into advertising revenue.

Sadly, some of which is extorted collected from Realtors, who literally should know better (or shouldn’t be a Realtor if they don’t).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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