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Correct Zillow estimate

How can I get Zillow to correct my home price estimate? My neighbor
s home is estimated at 399K, and my home (right across the road in the same community) is at 329K. It's the same exact home (sq footage, features etc), and I have a nature view as well. Its frustrating because most appraisers are now a days scared to value it significantly higher than what Zillow is saying (since the banks will get to them if something goes wrong I guess), and so thanks to Zillow's F*** up, I'm not able to refinance to a lower rate. Its ridiculous how some company which has never even seem my home can destroy my home value and peace of mind so easily. I wish I could sue these people. 
Anyway, do you have any tips on how this can be addressed? I don't see a way to contact Zillow on the website, so am hopeful you may have some pointers.

Thanks!
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May 28 2011 - Bothell
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Answers (4)

If your home is truly identical to another one that is getting a different Zestimate of value, I would also look up their assessed value for property taxes, as it could be that the neighbor has a remodel permit on record that  is driving up their Zestimate, as these are all based off an algorithm reconciling recent comparable home sales data against tax assessed values, taking into consideration the publicly available data on those sales as compared to your home, such as lot size, square footage of home, bedroom & bathroom count, etc.

Remember--Whenever you refinance, the appraiser's opinion of value isn't an indication of what you can sell your home for in an arm's length transaction with a normal marketing period.  It is simply a reconciliation of how your home compares to other homes that have sold recently which are in close proximity to your home.  Ideally the other sales are comparable to your home, but realistically, that seldom happens. 

Unfortunatley, distressed sales due to foreclosure or short sale are also driving the market, and will adversely influence the sales data that the appraiser is reconciling against your home.

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May 28 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
The simplest solution is to remind your lender that they aren't supposed to be using Zestimates, and volunteer to pay for an appraisal upfront.

On Zillow, you can claim your home and edit the facts to make sure they are accurate, plus use the "my estimate' feature.    Zillow doesn't know about upgrades, nature views, or freeway noise and those are not part of the Zestimate, but the "my estimate" may help.   Also hand select comps.  Should edits affect the Zestimate, it may be a few weeks to a few months until the new number is reflected on the site.
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May 28 2011
Actually zillow doesn't do the home inspection when you go to get a loan, so don't worry about the zestimate.  An appraiser will do their job and this will have no impact from zillow.  So don't worry bout the zillow estimate since 9 times out of 10 it will be incorrect.
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May 28 2011
What appraiser have you personally talked to that said they use Zillow.com's data?

I don't know of any competant appraiser that uses Zillow.com's data for anything. You getting Zillow.com to say your home is worth $5,000,000 wouldn't have one iota of impact on an appraiser's opinion of your home's value.

Guess what would impact the value?  Primarily the condition of your home and the sales prices of other comparable homes within relative close proximity of your home that have recently sold.

If your neighbor's home right across the street is identical to yours, down to the floorplan and lot size, and it just sold for $399k without any unusual sale conditions, then yours will very likely appraise for $399k.
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May 28 2011
 
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