The real estate market along the Grand Strand remains very strong. We have had some very healthy appreciation over the last 2 years. Of course, this increase hasn’t wiped away the losses of those that may have purchased property from 2005-2008 but that was an over-inflated market that we may or may not ever see again.

 So far this year, sales have been strong yet the prices have leveled off. I would call this the Most Normal Market that I have seen in years.

 I have been getting a lot of emails lately from owners that want to know how accurate Online Property Valuation Tools are in determining a true value for a specific property.

 As an industry, we do NOT feel that the Valuation Tools you find online are accurate enough to make buying and selling decisions.

 I recently had an owner call me to list their home at $189,000 because that is what the value was quoted on a site like Zillow. After reviewing the property and doing my own research, I was able to list this home and sell it for $20,000 more than what they were willing to sell it for.

 Can you imagine if my past client would have relied on the online valuation and sold via For Sale By Owner? Some buyer would have got one heck of a deal and the owner would have given away $20,000 of their equity.

 Here is an Example of what you will find on the different Online Valuation Websites.

 I searched a home on Wacobee Dr. in Myrtle Beach, SC to see what different sites estimated the value to be.

 Here are my findings:

 Zillow.com estimates the value at $551,834

Realtor.com estimates the value at $476,409

Homesnap.com estimates the value at $431,300

Movoto.com estimates the value at $468,600

 Yes, this is the same home. (I am not giving you the street number because I would not want to offend the property owner by using their house as an example.)

If you are a property owner or a prospective buyer, how do you make decisions when the ranges of value vary this much?

I have nothing negative to say about online real estate portals yet I do want to warn everyone that you have to do further research before making decisions about your property.

I have my own Property Valuation Tool that I share with those thinking of buying or selling real estate.

If you are thinking of selling, I recommend you do the following:

First: Click Here to review my Property Valuation Tool.

Second: Call me and allow me to do an in-depth evaluation of your property. I will give you the most accurate estimate of your property's value.

As you can imagine, I would like to earn your business but, more important, I want you to be an informed consumer. I have seen too many people make the wrong decision based on inaccurate info on the Internet.

I believe the Internet is a powerful tool yet there is a lot of conflicting information that you must sift through.

I hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to use my valuation tool and then call me anytime you want a more accurate valuation.

Your Realtor,

Bret French