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How accurate are the estimates on Zillow

  • February 01 2009 - Cleveland
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Answers (7)

The Zestimates are best used as a guide.  The Z-index helps to give you an idea of trends.  Do not take any of the Zestimates as a spot on price, there are variety of factors that make it virtually impossible to give you the true value.

As mentioned below, an appraisal will give you an "opinion" of value as of today.  It is as close to accurate as you should get (provided that you have a good appraiser).

Best way to find value is to pool all information (Zillow, local CMA for an agent, County Records, etc).
  • February 08 2009
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Profile picture for DasDrachenFeuer
Zillow takes into account it's own inaccuracy by using a range as well as an estimate. For instance I'm looking at a house that has a zestimate of $297,500. However, the value range is $261,800 - $309,400. That's a possible error of -12% to +4%. Most of it depends on the area you live in for how accurate it is.
  • February 08 2009
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Dear Massa1,

Great question, especially because Zillow is such a popular source of information.  However, the only data that Zillow has is the price that a specific home has sold for.  It does not have any information about the square footage, number of bedrooms, etc.  For example, you have a home that sold for 200K last month next to a home that is worth 120K in real life.  Zillow will think that the 120K home is worth more based on the data that is has.  Zillow does have the price and details of homes currently for sale, but a home's current price is not necessarily indicative of its value. 

I can only speak for my local market, and in my area (Champaign County, IL), Zillow tends to overestimate by about 5-10%.  It makes it a bit tough to persuade my sellers that their house is not worth as much as they think! :) 

Zillow is a pretty good source, though, in determining how home values differ between different neighborhoods in a given area since, over time, homes' values in specific subdivisions tend to coalesce.

I hope that this helps!
Mariya
  • February 06 2009
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Zillow gathers information from local MLS boards which are punctuated with errors. Plus, Zillow has chronically out-of-date mapping systems. Plus, Zillow information is NOT CURRENT.

On any given day, compare Zillow info with current MLS info (see your favorite Realtor - she won't bite!), and you will see how you would NOT rely on Zillow when you write a check to buy a home.

Zillow is over-puffed and over-sold . . . but it is a good, free and anonymous way to gather info. If you want to stay on the sidelines or in the shadows while considering a home purchase, Zillow will give you good generalized info.

But if you want accurate, definitive and up-to-the-moment info, critical when negotiating, you want a REALTOR.

Buyer's Agents work for buyers for FREE - paid by sellers in most states. Ask friends and family for recommendations OR (better yet) call your local Realtor board for recommendations.
  • February 06 2009
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Its hard to say how accurate zillow is. The more accurate data it has, the higher the accuracy should be. Nothing will be as accurate as an actual appraisal.

The more comparables a home has, should result in higher accuracy.

Comparables should strive to be:
Sold in the last 3 months
Same style home
As close as possible to you (same neighborhood at least)
Similar square footage
Similar condition
Same amount of bedrooms/baths

Just my 2 cents
  • February 06 2009
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Profile picture for Space_Truss

10 to 50% accuracy. Yes this is not a coke.

  • February 01 2009
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
ZIllow addresses that question here.
  • February 01 2009
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