With websites offering free price guides, Google at your fingertips and market appraisals at the click of a mouse, it begs the question do you really need a professional to help you figure out how much your home is worth?

It’s a laboured discussion and one that we keenly put to the test.

The short answer is yes, you do.

When savvy selling agencies started launching micro sites offering free, fast property appraisals as lead generation tools, the big banks decided to take a shot at the space and the latest release of the Domain Home Price Guide app opens up this space completely.

No longer does the lay consumer need to sit down for a cup of tea with their local selling agent just to get an appraisal or pay for reports and pricing data, you just type in a property address and away you go.

Although having data at your fingertips enables you to make more informed decisions, it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to knowing what a property is truly worth.

Knowing how much a house is worth now, in the current market is much more than looking at historical data online and it all comes down to interpretation.

The truth is, you can’t rely on bulk data resources and online price guides to tell you what your home is worth – these are great for a broad market snap shot but we’ve tested the mainstream services and found a huge gap between their predictions and reality.

Using the services of a professional who knows the Gold Coast market well, will give you a more accurate and in depth understanding of the market than any price guide ever could.

There’s every chance a real life property professional has been in and out of most homes for sale in your neighbourhood. They can explain why the house across the street sold for $157,230 less than the one only two doors away. They also know that the house across the street is still sporting Grandma’s 1973 kitchen remodel (popcorn ceilings, vinyl floors and mustard floral wallpaper included).

A professional property advisor understands why the house around the block with “honey, stop the car” street appeal is still sitting on the market. They’ve seen the inside, so they know that the layout resembles an interior maze designed by MC Escher.

Even though your home only measures 32 squares, they completely get why your remodelista style interior, offering an open floor plan and clever storage makes it more appealing than larger homes currently on the market.

A website has never stepped foot inside a single home in your neighbourhood. An experienced property advisor has.

Which leads to one simple conclusion — the best way of determining your home’s value is to seek. Local. Market. Advice.