Profile picture for ctreisch

Home Value Error

My home value is artificially low on and must be corrected as I prepare to sell my home.  I have tried emailing and calling Zillow to discuss, but no response.  I need assistance to understand what is wrong.  This is not an effort to just increase my home value, its a clear error as my single family home is valued far less than the adjacent town homes.  
  • December 31 2011 - Naperville
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Answers (21)

Don't worry about Zillow. Contact a professional Realtor to assess the value of your home.
  • December 31 2011
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Profile picture for JohnWilt
Zillow estimates are usually way off. Almost everyone knows that. Be less concerned about the Zillow 'guess' and more concerned with where the comps are for your neighborhood.  As a Naperville Broker I have seen prices fluctuate alot but some neighborhoods are already seeing increased sales. We have had a few places even get 'dual bids' on them.  That's a term we haven't used in many years. The market is not dead, just slow :).  I would be happy to send you some comps. No strings attached.  Just let me know.  -John
  • December 31 2011
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This is common, so I wouldnt worry about it.

Your home will sell for what it is worth, or market value, based on your Realtor's efforts not what Zillow - or any other free online website - says your home is worth.

I just appraised a home for $850K, then I listed it for sale and it sold for $950K. So even with an APPRAISAL market forces apply. PS ZIllow said it was worth $1.1m.
  • December 31 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I have some suggestions that might help. Zestimates are based on the information that Zillow gets from your local assessor through other data providers. Making sure that your home facts and house type are correct will help make your Zestimate as accurate as it can be given Zillow's constraints.

Make sure that your house is listed as a single family and NOT a townhouse or condo, that your square footage is correct and that your bed/bath count is correct. Also make sure that your assessed value is up to date. If your home facts are wrong, you can claim your house and update the facts. If the tax information or past sale price is wrong, Zillow will correct it if you flag it if they can verify the correct information.

If you are looking to sell soon, I would edit your home facts now since they take time to reflect any change in the Zestimate if they are going to. Also post a nice photo before you place your house up for sale. Buyers appreciate good photos.
  • December 31 2011
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@ctreisch

I have every sympathy with your situation and find it abhorrent that a company can publish erroneous home valuations and then refuse to correct it. [off topic removed by Zillow moderator]
  • December 31 2011
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Hopefully Zillow responds to you soon and corrects their error. Some people do check what Zillow thinks as part of their home buying research. It is one of the tools that can influence what their own value estimate is.
Eventually many buyers learn it is more of an entertainment novelty, but still continue to use it.
  • January 01 2012
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Profile picture for ctreisch
I understand that my home with sell for the market price - my frustration is most people when looking for a home will check Zillow and this artificially low zestimate could deter potential buyers from visiting my property.  And that is what upsets me.  This low appraisal, even if someone would think Zillow estimates are inaccurate, could give a perception that there is something wrong with my home.  If Zillow is going to post these instant appraisals of my private property and make them public, they have a responsibility to make them as accurate as possible. And if there is a clear error, there needs to be a method to correct.  
  • January 01 2012
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I understand your point. Zillow will correct home facts, past sales, tax information etc. that are wrong or you as the owner can many of those without them. Zillow won't manually change a Zestimate from what I have seen.

As the owner, you can put a Zestimate comment on your house. That will show up at the top of the home page. If you have a specific fact of information on your home page that you cannot change, you can use the yellow "edit" pencil to "report problem with home" to contact Zillow. Any buyer that uses the Zestimate to make an offer needs to learn more about it or have a better agent. They are not appraisals and should not be used that way by anyone. There is too much Zillow can't see/don't know.
  • January 01 2012
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Profile picture for ctreisch
It is important that Zillow respond.  This is an obvious error - I am not questioning s few thousand of an estimate because I think my house is worth more - this is a gross error and Zillow need to respond to advise how they are going to correct. 
  • January 01 2012
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I am currently listing a property for $6.2 million, fully furnished waterfront home on Lake Coeur d Alene.    The zillow zestimate is $685K.   Definitely need to take zestimates with a grain of salt.

No one company/program can be accurate estimating the value of each and every property in the US.

As another agent above states, buyers are aware that one must check true neighborhood comps, and evaluate a homes price the same way that an appraiser would.

One last comment, check recent "SOLDs" in your neighborhood against "their" zestimates.   Likely also OFF.   County "assessed" values have long been associated with not be close to market value, and buyers are aware of this.

Good Luck selling your property.
  • January 01 2012
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Don't give up in questioning this issue. That's what zillow relies upon as most people make a complaint on here then when they realize they are ignored by zillow, and get hostile comments from other posters who worship the holy grail of the zestimate. I have the same problem and 538 posts later I am still there adding my 2 cents.
  • January 01 2012
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Profile picture for ctreisch
Someone from Zillow - PLEASE POST A RESPONSE ON HOW TO CORRECT.  
  • January 03 2012
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Profile picture for k.sebastian
A CMA from an agent is often times more accurate than the zestimates. I would start with a few agents and go from there.
  • January 03 2012
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Zestimates are usually off. Call a Realtor in your area or better yet several of them.
  • January 03 2012
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Profile picture for ctreisch
I understand estimates are off, but this is a clear error.  ZILLOW please respond on how you can fix my issue.  This is not a matter of getting an agent to get an appraisal.  I have an appraisal, I need this error corrected.
  • January 03 2012
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It is just an estimate based on publically available information about your home. I think it would be difficult to decide what a "correction" would be because even two different appraisers that inspect an entire house might come up with slightly different values.

Also, there are quite a few of these sites that give these automated estimates (based on different algorithims but with much of the same public info). Have you checked any of them and demanded corrections there also? As a house hunter, I can tell you I DO check them, with a grain of salt of course. But, I can say that Zillow is hardly ever the lowest...

Here are a few to check; I have no idea how each site deals with fixing percieved errors.

http://www.homegain.com/


https://www.chase.com/ccp/index.jsp?pg_name=ccpmapp/home_equity/tools/page/home_value_estimator

http://www.trulia.com/

http://www.cyberhomes.com/index.cfm

http://express.realquest.com/

http://www.eppraisal.com/

http://homesand.net/Quick_comps.aspx

http://www.homes.com/Home-Prices/
  • January 03 2012
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Profile picture for Neil R
  • Neil RZillow
  • 5823 contributions
Hi ctreisch -

Our apologies for not getting back to you in a timely manner.

Zestimate is just a starting point to know a home's market value. As previously mentioned by Sunnyview, making sure that your home facts are correct would result to a more accurate Zestimate. We receive home data from county records which could sometimes be outdated. We do see that you have made some changes on your home's facts. Any impact a particular update in home information might have on a Zestimate won't usually take place for around 6-8 weeks. We cannot guarantee if a particular update will influence a Zestimate at all, if it will increase or decrease if it did.

Thank you.

Neil
Zillow Customer Support
  • January 04 2012
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Profile picture for ctreisch
@Neil,

I understand the whole concept behind Zillow and the Zestimate - the problem IS that no everyone UNDERSTANDS that fact.  If you looked at my home, you will see that there is a clear mistake - and its not about data from any organization.  The values have always been in line until just recently.  I would like someone from Zillow to address my specific issue and stop with the Zestimate talking points.  I would like this addressed, and 6-8 weeks is not reasonable.
  • January 05 2012
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Profile picture for ctreisch
ZILLOW ---- PLEASE RESPOND.
  • January 07 2012
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National Media, Zillow and other such sites do not offer a true representation of your local market area.   I have never seen any accuracy in this or other sites that tout knowing your homes value, as there are so many factors involved in assessing a sound market analysis. Figures vary greatly in as little as 1/2 mile in Naperville and the Chicagoland area. 

Zillow is not locally based, and do not know our local markets.  I agree it is a "fun tool" for home buyers and sellers, but a professional analysis is your best bet. 
  • January 08 2012
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ZILLOW - PLEASE REPOND
  • January 09 2012
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