Online Property Evaluation Tool Reviews

When it comes to determining property valuation, many of today’s real estate professionals are turning to online tools.

It makes sense. Online property value technology is faster and more convenient than a full appraisal. (Note: online property valuation is a nice complement to an appraisal but shouldn’t replace an appraisal entirely.)

Depending on the information source, online technology can be extremely accurate and provide you with an abundance of information at the click of a finger.

But as online evaluations grow, so too do the tools available for the task. What property evaluation technology is best to use? We turned to the reviews for what users had to say.

  1. MPAC Assessment

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation determines property assessments for municipal tax purposes. It can be useful for real estate professionals determining a property’s value.

That said, MPAC has its limitations. For instance, the tax value can be very different from the appraised value.

“Many clients look at the Assessed Value (which is often publicly available online on your municipality’s website) and assume that the number provided represents the current market value,” wrote Calvert Home Mortgage Investment Corporation.

“While there are a few instances where the Assessment might equal the current value, it is important to understand that this would only be a coincidence as both values are unique and are done for different purposes at different times.”

The definition of market value can assume a hypothetical and perfect market — not taking into account fluctuations or extenuating circumstances.

The Bottom Line: While MPAC can be a good tool in your property value wheelhouse, it shouldn’t be the only tool that you rely on.

  1. emili

emili is the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) decision system for mortgage insurance. It can automatically consider key factors such as the borrower, the property, the market, and the overall risk.

There is one thing that is important to know. If you are using property valuation tools to comply with mortgage stress testing, unfortunately emili is not enough.

emili does not provide a value for a property being financed. Instead it evaluates an area and, based on the value in that area, agrees or disagrees with the value stated on the application. This means that when emili agrees or disagrees with a value, you are not actually obtaining the value of the specific property being financed.

The Bottom Line: While emili has its uses, it shouldn’t be your only online property valuation tool.

  1. ca/MLS

Realtor.ca – the former Multiple Listing Services — is a well-known listing advertising site. But that is where it’s limited. It does not display historical or sold data.

According to reviewers, Realtor.ca:

  • Has limited search functions.
  • Doesn’t always show the newest listings.
  • Isn’t always up to date – some of the listings may have already sold or sold conditionally.
  • Shares incomplete listing info. Public listings don’t include property taxes, number of days on the market, and more.

The Bottom Line: Realtor.ca continues to be a good tool for advertising listings and real estate marketing, but it shouldn’t be used as a property valuation tool. For one thing, it doesn’t always show the most complete listing data. But for another, it is limited. You can only find properties currently on the market — you can’t search for properties that are not yet listed.

  1. GeoWarehouse

GeoWarehouse is Teranet’s property valuation solution, powered by the Province of Ontario Land Registration Information System (POLARIS).

We have worked hard to create a database that is accessible, comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date. But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what others have to say:

Elle Peterson, Sales Representative, Kenora Home and Cottage Realty Inc.

“I have found that the GeoWarehouse reports have helped me to be successful in real estate by using the neighborhood sales report when showing clients recent sales in their area.

“GeoWarehouse reports have been helpful in providing the survey of the land and in identifying neighboring lots, as well as in getting particulars on these lots such as who owns them. This is valuable to a buyer, so he/she will know in advance who their neighbour would be. It also helps a seller to have an idea of property lot lines in the event there is no survey.

“I have had success with clients in using the GeoWarehouse reports, specifically the property details to show the particulars of a property including the legal description and how much the property sold for and when it last sold.”

Asghar Jafri

“GeoWarehouse’s map is up to date and it helped me find the location easily. I could not find the same location in TREB’s maps.

“I was able to get a comparables report easily. The report gave me a quick list which I used to hone in on the best comparables.”

Brian Wilson, Broker of Record – GlobeCorp Realty, Brokerage

“I use GeoWarehouse regularly to help me in preparing valuation reports for my clients, both buyers and sellers. It is an invaluable piece of the pie in helping to determine what properties in the area have sold for and helps to form a better picture for my clients about the value of their property (or prospective property). GeoWarehouse has enabled me to provide a higher level of service to my clients, and as such I’m seen as a better educated service provider (REALTOR). Thanks to the GeoWarehouse team!”

Gail Johnson, Sales Representative – Prudential Town Centre Realty Inc., Brokerage

“Your GeoWarehouse on-line course says it all. GeoWarehouse makes my job easier because the database is:

1- Convenient – access the system, with varying degrees of support, for up to 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

2- Timely – Title Data contained in the GeoWarehouse database is current to within 2 to 3 weeks and Parcel Registers are delivered directly from the POLARIS database.

3- Flexible – you can search records by Owner Name, Address, Instrument or PIN or search aerial maps; and

4- Reliable – data is derived from the POLARIS database.”

See more reviews of our GeoWarehouse system here: https://www2.geowarehouse.ca/testimonials/

If you would like to try GeoWarehouse for yourself, get in contact today. We’ll walk you through the features and explain exactly how it all works to help you determine the most accurate property value available.

Call 1-866-237-5937 or visit www.geowarehouse.ca.