StreetEasy launches automated home-valuation tool

Homeowners can request estimate of property value and monthly rent

StreetEasy has launched a new tool offering users a private estimate of their home value. (iStock)
StreetEasy has launched a new tool offering users a private estimate of their home value. (iStock)

At a time when the pandemic is tossing property values around like laundry in a washing machine, StreetEasy has launched a new tool to tell New Yorkers what their homes are worth.

The automated valuation model tool is similar to the Zestimate tool from parent company Zillow, but won’t be public-facing, Inman reports. Instead, homeowners must request access. Those who do can expect to receive an estimate of their home’s value, price per square foot and monthly rent.

Doug Perlson, StreetEasy’s vice president of real estate strategy and operations, told Inman the tool was created using “cutting-edge statistical techniques and backed by StreetEasy’s wealth of data.”

However, the company stressed that the tool is intended to be a “starting point” for homeowners, not a replacement for a professional appraisal or a real estate agent’s expertise.

Automated valuation models have faced criticism over the years from some homeowners and industry professionals who have questioned their accuracy.

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A 2018 study by economists at the Federal Reserve that compared valuations from homeowners versus automated systems found the two were fairly similar, but neither was great.

According to the study, only about half of the automated estimates and 40 percent of homeowners’ estimates fell within 10 percent of the actual selling price.

[Inman] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan