Bank of America is one of the largest financial institutions, so naturally, the bank offers a free home value estimator to help you determine its fair market value.
But is Bank of America’s home value estimator accurate, and is it a better option than real estate websites like Zillow or Redfin?
While it compares favorably to Chase and other large banks offering home values, we didn’t find it to be that accurate.
Home value estimators like Bank of America are usually not reliable enough to make a major financial decision, like set a list price on a home. But they can still be useful for an idea of what your property is worth.
Read on to learn more about how Bank of America’s home value estimator works, how to use it, and how it compares to the competition.
How Bank of America’s home value estimator works
Bank of America Home Values
- Fast and free to use
- Intuitive user interface
- Accurate compared to peers
Bank of America provides users with a free automated valuation model (AVM), also known as a home value estimator. Its estimtator compares favorably to Chase and other large banks, but isn’t quite as accurate or useful as real estate websites Zillow and Redfin.
- Fast, and free to use
- Intuitive user interface
- Accurate property details
- Home values determined by outdated comparable sales
- Homes can’t be edited or saved
- Property renovations or repairs not considered in valuations
- A homeowner seeking a quick ballpark home value estimate
- Home buyers interested in an active listing who want a quick estimate to see if the home is fairly priced or within their budget
Bank of America is a multinational investment bank and financial services company that offers banking, credit cards, and loans, including mortgage loans.
The company offers various home buying and selling tools, including a mortgage calculator, a closing costs calculator, and an automated valuation model (AVM), also known as a home value estimator.
Anyone can get a free home value estimate for active listings or off-market properties within seconds on its website simply by entering an address (no account acquired.)
Its home valuation report includes:
- A home value based on its beds, baths, square footage, and recent comparable home sales.
- An overview of the home, including property type, year built, total square footage, county, tax assessed value, and parcel number.
- A chart detailing the home’s value history over the past 20 years.
- A list of three or more comparable home sales, with the distance from the subject property, beds, baths, square footage, year built, sale price, and sale date.
Like other home value estimators, Bank of America’s is not an appraisal and is unreliable. The company’s disclaimer reads: “It is intended to be used for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an appraisal or confirmation of actual home value.”
Bank of America home values: Step-by-step guide
We put Bank of America’s home value tool to the test on a single-family property in Davidson, a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina.
View how the process works and our thoughts on its accuracy.
1. Enter the address
Once on Bank of America’s home value page, enter the address you wish to receive a home value for, and click get home value estimate.
2. View your home value
Your estimated home value appears on the left-hand corner of the screen. Underneath that, view the home value date, and its beds, baths, and square footage.
A Google map view of the house appears on the right.
Our subject property has five beds, four and a half baths, and 2,559 sq. ft., with an estimated home value of $680,091.
3. Review property details and value history
Bank of America gives you an overview of the home’s key details, including property type, year built, lot size, and more, pulled from the home’s tax records.
According to the site, our home was built in 2022 and has a total lot size of 45,302 sq. ft. This information looks accurate compared to the property’s tax records.
Underneath the home’s overview is a chart of how its home value has changed over the past 20 years. Not surprisingly, its home value has soared over the past 2 years.
Home values in this suburb have risen by 28.4% over the past year, according to Zillow. Our home has risen in value by 25.5% in that timeframe, based on this chart.
4. Analyze the home’s comparables
Comparables are recent, and local home sales closest in size and condition to our property. They are used to determine a home’s estimated market value.
Bank of America provides a Google Map with the location of each home sale and an average sale price.
Below the map is a list of six comparable sales, including addresses, distance to the subject property, and other relevant information.
Bank of America home value estimator example
How does Bank of America’s home value estimate for our test property compare to other sites and our estimate?
Our property is a 5-bed, 4.5-bath single-family home with 2,559 sq. ft., located in Davidson, North Carolina, a popular suburb of Charlotte. Homes in the area have a median value of $599,340, according to Zillow.
Here’s how the numbers compare, ordered by lowest value to highest.
|Bank of America
*Data pulled on July 27, 2022.
Here’s what our analysis found:
- Home value websites provided us with a wide range of home values for our test property – a $139,000 difference between the low and high estimate!
- Chase’s estimator frequently undervalues homes, and it does here with our test property. It had the lowest home value estimate by more than $20,000.
- Realtor.com’s home value also looks low. Its valuation is based on data providers CoreLogic, Collateral Analytics, and Quantarium.
- Bank of America’s home value estimate is based on six comparable sales, only one of which sold in 2022.
- Ownerly provided us with three estimates: $674,000, $702,400, and $749,034, so we used an average of the three, but we think its high estimate is inaccurate.
What is the home worth?
We ran the numbers and came up with a home value estimate of $699,033 for this home, based on the average sales price of three similar, recent area home sales.
Unlike the home value estimators, we only used home sales within the past six months.
Out of all the estimators, Zillow and Ownerly came closest to ours.
The bottom line
Home value estimators have different opinions of value, and shouldn’t be used in place of a professional CMA report or appraisal.
We tried our best to determine the home’s estimated value based on public data. But we did not perform a visual inspection of the home or its comparables or consider any potential upgrades, renovations, or repairs.
Contact a local realtor for a free CMA report for the most accurate estimate. Unlike home value estimators, a real estate expert hand-selects the best comparable sales and can give you credit for your home’s renovations and upgrades.
If you’re not yet ready to speak with an agent, consider using multiple home value estimators to see how your home valuation compares.
Bank of America home value estimator: Pros and cons
|✅ Fast and free
|❌ Uses outdated comparables
|✅ Intuitive user interface
|❌ Homes can't be edited or saved
|✅ Accurate property information
|❌ Renovations not considered
Fast and free
Bank of America’s value estimator is one of the easiest to use. You plug in an address, hit enter, and receive a home value within seconds. No personal contact information is required.
Intuitive user interface
Bank of America’s interface is intuitive and more user-friendly than its competitor Chase Bank. It features tax record information, a 20-year chart of its value history, and a list of comparable home sales.
Accurate property information
While we disagree with its home value estimates, Bank of America did provide us with accurate property information, such as beds, baths, and square footage.
Uses outdated comparables
We found that home value estimators often use outdated comparable home sales to determine estimated value, and Bank of America was no exception.
On our test property, five out of the six comps sold more than 10 months ago (two of the six homes sold in 2020!) These home sale prices do not reflect current market conditions.
Real estate agents and appraisers rarely use comps that sold more than six months from the date of the home valuation.
No way to edit or save home details
You cannot claim a home or change any of its information, even if it’s inaccurate.
There’s also no option to save your estimate and receive regular updates. Unfortunately, you must re-visit the Bank of America website and re-enter the address to check if a home value has changed.
Home renovations are not considered
Like many other home value websites, home improvements and repairs are not factored into valuations.
So Bank of America is unaware of updates to your kitchen or bathrooms and is giving you a low estimate.
How Bank of America home values compare
Bank of America vs. Zillow
While Zillow’s Zestimates are far from perfect, they rate highly compared to Bank of America.
Zillow covers more than 100 million homes. It’s also one of the most accurate home value sites, with a median error rate of 6.9% on off-market properties.
Zillow also lets its users choose their comparable sales, so you can replace an outdated or irrelevant home sale, potentially boosting your home value estimate.
Bank of America vs. Redfin
Redfin is one of the few home value sites that lets users edit a home’s square footage to receive an updated home value. That’s a pretty useful feature since home value sites often get square footage wrong.
Redfin’s home values are also relatively accurate, with a median error rate of 7.67% on off-market properties.
Like Bank of America, Redfin home values update regularly (daily for active listings, and weekly for off-market homes.)
Bank of America vs. PennyMac
PennyMac and Bank of America’s home value estimators carry many similarities.
Like Bank of America, we found PennyMac’s home value estimator fast and easy to use. You can get a free home value estimate within seconds, with no personal information required.
However, like with Bank of America, our subject property was undervalued by its website as it used several outdated comparable sales to determine its estimate.
Bank of America vs. Chase home value estimator
We rate Chase’s home value estimator among the worst in the industry. It often undervalues homes by tens of thousands of dollars, and we found inaccurate or missing information on many homes we tested.
Bank of America home values: FAQ
Is Bank of America's home value estimator accurate?
Bank of America's home value estimator compares favorably to Chase's. But we found it to be less accurate than some of its peers, such as Zillow and Redfin. Its home value algorithm uses old comparable sales and does not factor in a home's renovations or upgrades.
For a more accurate home valuation, we highly recommend getting a free comparative market analysis (CMA) report from a local real estate agent. An agent matching service can connect you up with several quality local agents for a free, no-obligation CMA report.
How can I find my home's estimated value?
For a quick ballpark home value estimate, use a real estate website. Bank of America is just one home value website of many providing free home values based on comparable sales data and property information from tax records. View our picks of the best home value estimators based on accuracy and functionality.
For a professional home value estimate, get a CMA report from a realtor. A CMA is a home value report created by a local real estate professional who hand-selects comparable sales and views your home in person. Unlike a home value estimator, a realtor can give you credit for your home's upgrades and renovations.
For an even more detailed home value, you can hire a licensed appraiser. You can get an appraisal before listing your home for sale, as long as you are willing to pay for it ($400–500). A licensed appraiser visits your home in person for an inspection.
How does Bank of America's home value estimator compare to Chase's?
We found Bank of America home values slightly more accurate than Chase's. Bank of America's tool is also more user-friendly. Read our Chase home value estimator review for more information.
However, both estimators frequently use outdated or irrelevant sales information, and don't give a home credit for any upgrades or repairs, unless updated on the home's tax records.
Why you should trust us
Real Estate Witch’s mission is to provide accurate, actionable, and practical information you can use to make better decisions on your real estate journey.
We tested Bank of America’s home value estimator over seven days, creating rough CMA reports on properties in multiple markets to compare the numbers.
Based on our findings, we believe that home value sites like Bank of America can provide you with a ballpark estimate of a home’s value. But Bank of America, and virtually every other estimator we tested, was off by thousands of dollars or had incorrect (or missing) property information.
The bottom line: Home value estimators can be useful for a quick ballpark home value. But your most accurate home value estimate will come from an experienced, local real estate agent or appraiser.
About the author
Steve Nicastro is a real estate agent, investor, and personal finance writer based in South Carolina. His writing on Real Estate Witch covers topics on how to find a realtor and home value estimators.
Steve completed dozens of CMA reports for prospective home sellers during his time working as a full-time agent between 2020-21.
Steve is also an active real estate investor and has experience completing home valuation estimates to analyze flips. He has used sites like Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com for quick home value estimates.
The Best Home Value Websites Revealed. Bank of America is just one website providing a home value estimate. We rank the most popular websites for online home values, including Zillow and Redfin.
Why You Should Avoid Chase Bank’s Home Value Estimator. Chase’s free home value tool does not compare favorably to its peers. Learn why sites like Zillow provide a far superior alternative.
Zillow vs. Redfin: Which is More Accurate? Zillow and Redfin rate as two of the best home value estimators, but which one is the best? Find out here.
What is a CMA in Real Estate? Our guide breaks down everything you need to know about CMA reports, including how to get one for free from a local real estate agent.
Pre-listing Appraisal: Should I Get One? Getting a professional appraisal before listing your home for sale is costly and time-consuming, and only makes sense in certain situations. Learn more here.