Sunday, June 21, 2009

Are Zillow Estimates Accurate?

Earlier today a dear friend on Facebook sent me the following message:


Hi Stacey,
I became your fan this morning! That's just a formality--I was already your fan of course.
Not sure where your discussion board is to ask this question, so I hope you don't mind an email question instead:
Do house valuations tend to be accurate?
Thanks in advance,


I just thought I'd post it here on my blog in case anyone else is curious about Zillow.

Zillow has been a great resource over the last few years for both buyers and sellers allowing them to search for homes, post questions, and utilize what is probably the most commonly used tool on their website a "Zestimate". This tool allows people to input a property address and have a number come up that provides them with estimated value.

So often in my industry I have clients tell me -- "I found my home on Zillow and they are telling me my home is worth XYZ", and although Zillow can get close, it is pulling data from nearby/recent sales and tax records. It bases the numbers on comparable square foot, lot size, location and bedrooms. However, be aware that if you are trying to determine the real value of your home have a licensed Real Agent put together a CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) for you. There analysis will take into consideration the overall state of a property (great condition or completely torn up inside), often times tax records may not appropriately reflect square footage or bedrooms if improvements were made or lot line adjustments were done, if nereby sales included short sales or foreclosures which do affect a property's value, and also it does not calculate any improvements you've done to your home, unless you've gone in to manually enter them into Zillow.

Overall, it might get you in a range, but in the end if you really want to know -- give me a call and I will meet you to prepare a CMA for your home with no obligation!

Roberta, I hope this answers your question :-)

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