Shack Prices was created with the hope of giving people as much information about home values as possible. We realized that there were many websites that show you prices of homes on the market (i.e. homes that haven’t yet sold) and some websites that would sell you information about comparable houses nearby, but no sites that let you pick the comparables and the area. The difference between Shack Prices and realtor web sites is that Shack Prices shows the actual price that each house sold for versus the price that someone hopes their house is worth. You can use it to virtually appraise your home or a neighborhood. We hope it helps you as buyer or seller.
In playing around a little, the site seemed pretty darn intuitive. If you are interested in getting a rough idea of how much your home would be worth on the open market, just insert your bedrooms, bathrooms and square feet. If there is not a lot of data in your area, extend the time-frame out a year, instead of the default three months.
If I had to give a critique of the site, it is that they borrowed a little too heavily from the typical home search websites instead of re-thinking how an “appraisal” site might work. For example, if I’m going to appraise my home, I know precisely how many bedrooms and bathrooms are in the home. Why do they have the option for a range? Also, my experience in estimating a home’s value is that some other data fields within the County’s home sales database (like the home’s style code) is much better than the number of bedrooms at indicating the estimated value of a home. The number of bathrooms plays a minor role at best, so I wouldn’t have even bothered with that field. Granted, some of my suggestions might take some user training if they are used to the more traditional home search, but it would be a more valuable tool.
With that said, if you are living in King County and interested in an estimated value of your home, Shack Prices is a great place to start. However, if you want something a little more robust just ask any real estate agent. ANY agent looking for more business will prepare a “Comparative Market Analysis” for free and the agent will likely be more experienced at weeding through the appropriate data fields to develop a better estimate of your home’s value.
Congratulations to Galen for making this happen and check out Seattle Real Estate Talk’s post on Shack Prices…