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How can zestimate vary so much for identical homes, built at the same time? My home shows -$80k less

Both homes are approx. 4,450 sq. ft. Both are on corner lots with same size property. The only real difference is that one home (mine) has a screened in, in-ground swimming pool w/ spa. The home without the pool has a zestimate of $444,500 and the home recently sold for $465,000. My home has a zestimate of $367,500. Why?
  • April 07 2009 - Orlando
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Answers (4)

I just don't think zestimate is up to date. It shows by home is worth $470,000 though i just bought it for 300,000 and if I was to resell it today it would not sell for more then 350,000.  Now we are talking a difference of over 100,000.
  • May 01 2009
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There are may variables.

One idea is to customize your home value on zestimate and be sure to select recent comps sold in your neighborhood.  This is one of most important things you can do for an accurate value.  Most neighborhoods have mico-neighborhoods and there can be as much as a 20% difference in estimated values.  This can be true even with identical homes across the street from each other and could be something as simple as a slightly more desirable view out the back windows.
  • May 01 2009
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Terry has a very valid point in saying that a home owner should go in and claim their home and input any upgrades or points that Zillow may not know about. The Zestimate is merely a starting point when assessing a home's value and should not be taken as an actual appraisal. A professional should always be brought in when determining a home's acutal value.

There will be differences in home values from neighborhood to neighborhood due to the fact we draw from the county's tax records. So, if Neighbor A reports all upgrades to their home we can pull from those records. If Neighbor B chooses not to, then we will not have them hence the variance in prices. There is an algorithm or mathematical equation that factors this in as well as many other factors including sale history when computing the Zestimate.

I would also suggest claiming your home and updating any pertinent information on the home such as remodels or addtitions.

If you would like to check how accurate Zillow is in different areas around the country, scroll to the bottom of any page and click on the grey link labeled "Zestimate Values&Accuracy" for more information.

Elizabeth Munson
Zillow.com
  • April 07 2009
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We have found great discrepancies with Zestimate for homes in our area. The SF Bay area just as they have weather micro climates also has vastly different values between city to city as well as from one neighborhood to the next. Zestimate does not take into account school districts which can either add value and/or take a value from the homes.
Walnut Creek with the name automatically demands more than the name of Concord which is right on the border.
On Zestimate the values can be manipulated by going in and playing with upgrades etc.
  • April 07 2009
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