Today more than ever before, buyers and potential sellers are innocently going on line expecting a time-saving path to an accurate measure of a home’s worth. I call this the ‘On Line Pitfall’… and few pitfalls are more useless or misleading than this one. On line sites generally draw data from three sources: the property characteristics, the tax assessment, and recent transactions as recorded at the County Clerks’ office. The first pitfall? Information that is often neither current nor accurate. The second, simply enormous pitfall? Critically important, even irreplaceable information including Location and Condition are simply missed or overlooked altogether in these so-called evaluations. The bottom line? There exists no reliable substitute for the opinions of an experienced appraiser or, even better, those of your Real Estate Broker or Buyers Agent. Both come heavily armed with intimate knowledge of the local market and the property itself, having explored first-hand its every nook and cranny inside and out – and likely more than once. So…if you do have some fun going on line, fine, go right ahead. Just remember to bring along that proverbial ‘grain of salt’ – on second thought, a whole pound might well be in order.