Profile picture for stgcret

Home Values by Zillow

I am curious just what Cyrstal Ball Zillow uses to determine a home value?  Is it just the square footage footprint and lot size?  We have invested over $50K in improving and beautification of our home.

I know the geniuses at Zillow can't take in Owner Improvements and TLC. OR! The same sqft and lot size owned by a family of trashy, non-caring homeowners that have put zero money or effort in to their home and live like a bunch of goats.  You know the type of people I am referring to.  Every neighborhood in the U.S. has them; the blights of the neiborhood that bring every ones property values down.

The other problem is comparables.  If you are located in a large multi-subdivisioned area I can see no problem.  But if you live in a small subdivision with 50 to 100 homes, but the only street leading to the subdivision is dotted with renegades from a land fill, are from the 50's and 60's and not to mention run-down,  it does not bode well for comps for the nicer, newer homes maybe 1000 yards away languishing in a subdivision. 

As you can see from my claimed value, that is adding $55K+ into my home over an 11 year period.  My home looks nothing like it did back in 1998.

Am I missing something?? LOL  Responses welcome
STGCRET
  • May 16 2009 - Pace
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Answers (6)

Profile picture for CubsfaninWA
Zestimates definitely are not the end-all be-all in terms of figuring out what a home is worth. We value almost every home in the country 3x per week, our valuations are produced by a huge room full of computer servers, and we've obviously never been inside the house. Perhaps most importantly, we are limited by the quality of the publicly available data that we get from counties. Frequently when Zestimates are very off, it's because the public data is incorrect.
The good news is that if owners or agents change the home facts (which happens automatically whenever a listing is added to the site), the Zestimate is impacted.

There's more info here and here.

Here's a video about the Zestimate, geared towards real estate professionals.


Here is something to make those buyers ask why you are listing your house for so little compared to your Zestimate:

How to inflate your house value on Zillow

or maybe this is what is really true:

More home owners coming to grips with home prices
  • May 16 2009
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Improvements don't always translate into dollars upon sale. Zillow cannot see your improvements until you add them yourself unless they are already reflected in a higher assessment value or a previous higher sales price. If you haven't done it already, I would claim your home and do an owner's estimate to include improvements that Zillow does not have listed. You can read more about how to make those changes here. Zillow is not an appraisal. I find their ranges from my area to be fairly accurate, but Zestimates vary in accuracy depending on the condition of the house, curb appeal, local school etc. Zillow cannot see your house, but I would recommend doing what you can as an owner to take control of your house info and make your information resulting Zestimate as accurate as it can be. 
  • May 16 2009
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Profile picture for sunnyview
You may already have seen this, but here is a link to the returns on common remodeling projects upon resale. I am sure that if you were to sell that buyers would appreciate your nice work and be willing to pay more for your well kept and updated house. Zillow just can't see those things until you add them.
  • May 16 2009
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Profile picture for stgcret
I have just edited my homes profile. After filling all the blanks and adding for all my upgrades over the past 10 years, I came up with a total price of $160,101. 

Just 2 1/2 years ago Navy Federal Credit Union valued my home at $179,900 on-line and that was before the new Central Heating and Cooling System, $8500 Spa and $3000 Spa Enclosure were installed.  

What a racket!!!  I sure am glad that I don't have to sell in todays market.  LOL

Regards Paul
  • May 17 2009
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Today's market is tough for everyone with the REO and short sale crew pushing prices of properties in nice condition lower than they would otherwise be. It won't last forever, but still stinks for now. I am glad you updated your home facts. If the updates you made cause an increase in your Zestimate, you should see the difference within about 2 weeks or so. 
  • May 17 2009
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  • May 18 2009
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