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How do I get information on what the "Zestimate" is exactly? Other definitions of terms unique

Definitions of terms unique to Zilllow?
  • January 16 2009 - Palo Alto
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Answers (3)

Profile picture for blue screen exile
Zillow does have a "frequently asked questions" section that can be accessed through the "help" link at the bottom of the page.

And there is an explination of the Z-estimate with a link next to each Z-estimate.

It doesn't really fully explain the process.  So, if you are inclined to try to do something similar yourself; they use all the county records data they have available (sq footage, lot size, # bedrooms, # baths, # stories, auxilary structures, year built, tax assessor value, property tax, amount sold-for last and date of sale,...) and do a "least squares curve fit" for all recently sold properties in the area to calculated coefficients for their curve fit equation.  Then they plug the numbers from the county records for specific properties into the equation derived to come up with a value for each property that has county records available.

The process is fully automated; there is no "subjectivity" or manual calculation involved.  It can't look at any data that is not in the county records, but does adjust some for owner provided corrections to the data.

To get a better idea how the "least squares curve fit" method works, look up the LINEST function in your Excel program by pressing the F1 key after starting Excel.  Look specifically at example #3, "multiple linear regression".

  • January 19 2009
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Profile picture for cryer
Appreciate your answer!  I finally wandered around the site and found more info about that as some other info on their specific terms.  Truly appreciate your perspective . . .
  • January 16 2009
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Zestimate is Zillow's estimate of a property value.
On the Zestimate, you can click on a link and see the 50 comparable sales they use to determine value. These comps are typically selected within a 1 mile radius of the subject property.
The Zestimate is at best a rough "ballpark" value.
I believe it is primarily based on house square footage and as such does not account, I believe, for condition or updating.
Most sellers believe the estimate is low. Of course! :-)
  • January 16 2009
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