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If you’re researching property values or trying to determine how much your house is worth, you may have heard of Ownerly. The website offers tools that aim to help you to make informed decisions about improving, buying or selling a home. But what exactly does it do — and is it worth it? Read on to learn if Ownerly is right for you.
What is Ownerly?
Ownerly is a digital real estate platform that provides homeowners with information about their property, such as value estimates, tax records and nearby sale prices. It promises to “unlock professional-grade real estate data” — for a fee.
To use the site, input an address online and Ownerly will gather information on the property. It pulls together multiple reports and compiles everything into one convenient place. However, to access that information, you must sign up for a paid trial. When you become a member, you gain access to a certain amount of information each month and are billed monthly for the service. Much of this information is publicly available, but the service saves you the trouble of having to track it all down for yourself.
Homeowners can use this data in helping them sell their house, decide how to renovate, or even refinance their mortgage. Homebuyers can also use the site to search information about properties they’re interested in.
Ownerly’s home value estimator
To estimate the value of a home, Ownerly uses an automated valuation model (AVM) to assign a value to it. AVMs are computer algorithms that take into consideration local property info, such as taxes and past sales, among other things. While these tools can be useful starting points in your research, they typically only account for publicly available information, and they should not take the place of a professional, in-person home appraisal.
How does Ownerly work for sellers?
Accurately pricing your home is one of the most crucial steps for sellers. Ownerly provides information on the home’s value, as well as an overview of what’s happening in the local market, to help you make a more informed decision.
While it can be a useful tool, especially when you’re first starting out, this information is probably best used in conjunction with a local real estate agent — not instead of one. Agents know their markets in ways that algorithms don’t, and they can provide a competitive market analysis (CMA) that will dive deep into the details.
Ownerly can also connect you with contractors and service providers to help renovate your home, which could boost your home’s value when it comes time to sell.
How does Ownerly work for buyers?
While Ownerly’s services are primarily for sellers, it can also be a useful research tool for those looking to buy a home. House-hunters can use Ownerly to look up information on the properties they’re interested in, such as approximate value, property taxes and most recent sale price, as well as an overview of the local market and recent area sales.
How does Ownerly make money?
Ownerly makes money primarily through its subscription model. To use the site, you have to sign up for a seven-day trial. There are two different tiers of trials, each with a nominal fee of either $1 or $5. The $5 plan allows you to download PDFs of reports and share documents. After the trial, though, the cost goes up to “as low as $29.99 per month.” The monthly fee allows access to up to 25 reports per month. You can cancel online or over the phone with your 9-digit membership ID number.
In addition, though, Ownerly makes money by providing its users’ information to its network of partners. It promises that “you will only be contacted by partners who provide the product or service you are seeking.”
Alternative options to Ownerly
While Ownerly is unique in its subscription-based model, there are other companies that provide similar information. For example, many banks, brokerages and real estate sites offer online value estimators (think Zillow’s “Zestimate”). In addition, much of the information Ownerly provides is in the public record — such as property tax records and sale history — if you have the time and inclination to search for it yourself. And if you opt to use a real estate agent, he or she can provide the same info Ownerly provides, as well as professional expertise and personal service.
Bottom line: Should you use Ownerly?
Ownerly compiles lots of information about a particular property and packages it for you in one convenient place. It charges a monthly fee for up to 25 reports per month. This can be useful if you’re researching property values in order to sell your house, or if you’re looking to buy a new house. However, much of the information it provides is in the public record and can be found on your own, and if you’re working with a real estate agent, it probably won’t tell you anything your agent doesn’t already know.
No, Ownerly isn’t free. Ownerly initially offers $1 and $5 1-week trials, then switches to a monthly subscription fee of “as low as $29.99 per month.”
Ownerly uses an automated valuation model (AVM), or computer algorithm, to assign a value to a home based on a variety of factors, such as previous sale history and recent sales in the area. All AVMs are different, and each might give you a slightly different dollar amount for the same home, but theirs is comparable to those found on other sites.
Ownerly is a legitimate company that provides information for a fee. It was founded in 2018 by Josh Levy and Ross Cohen, and has its headquarters in New York City. In 2020 it was named one of HousingWire’s Tech100 Real Estate winners. It is not unsafe to use, however it will likely sell your info to one or more of its partners, resulting in phone calls and emails that you may not want.