Profile picture for orlando hernandez

How does zillow calculate home values?

These are four duplexes.  They are built in the same year on the same block and have identical floor plans.  

200 Welcome street          zestimate $409,000
204 Welcome street          zestimate $411,500
208 Welcome street          zestimate $743,000
209 Lake shore terrace      zestimate $402,000

209 Lake shore was remodeled extensively in 2009 and has infinitely better views of downtown than the others.  and yet it's zestimate is the least of the four properties.  one of the properties is zestimated at $300,000 over the rest.  
A clarification on how zillow estimates real estate and how they came up with these estimates would be appreciated.

thank you

Orlando Hernandez



  • September 29 2010 - Westlake
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (9)

Zillow provides a ballpark estimate... sometimes the ball park is larger than other times, but is, as the catchy name states a "zESTIMATE." A buyer or seller might look at this but it would be a mistake to base the asking price or the price you offer solely on Zillow.

Realtors who sell your area know the market better than a computer algorithm does. Once the buyer and seller agree on a price, the appraiser ensures that the price isn't wildly high - the bank doesn't want to get stuck with a $300K defaulted property on which they've loaned $400K.

Bottom line, use Zillow as a guideline if you want, but it is only an ESTIMATE made by a formula developed by a team that has probably never set foot in your town.

  • September 15 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for anthonyfigueroa3
I agree that Zillow is not very accurate or consistent with its estimates. For instance my home value is $12K less than the exact same home on my block and my home has more upgrades, customized landscaping a bigger lot and no rear neighbors.

In addition to that the way my home is situated compared the other home lends itself to a nicer entry way and not as close to the homes on either side.

Either way Zillow has an impact on homebuyers as they use this when determining what to pay for a home and as a result creates a lot of heartache.
  • December 20 2012
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for orlando hernandez
Skacutter,  
Please elaborate on the opening sentence of your response.  

209 lakeshore was updated and pictures uploaded at the time of renovations.  
But that was not the issue.  
All the properties were built by the same company and at the same time and share identical floor plans.  Did I mention they're all adjacent to one another?

All information regarding these properties is readily available to anyone willing to actually look at these addresses on zillow and click the pictures.

Robert answered without looking at what was at the root of the question.
Why are four identical properties that are all adjacent vary so greatly in their "zestimate"?... Hence the question "How does Zillow calulate home values?"

Since I posted the question all four properties have dropped around 7% except for 208 welcome.  It's price has dropped a whopping 40%.  Though it's still higher in its Zestimate by roughly 15% than the three other identical properties.

Good day


 
  • February 04 2011
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for skacutter
Orlando:  dont throw stones when you live in a glass house as it will drive down your Zestimate.  Robert did answer your question and pointed you to the location on zillow where the home owner details what upgrades have been done to a home which in turn adjusts the Zestimate.  Zillow works by pulling from public records for the homes that have sold in your location and copares like homes (same sqare footage, same number of bedrooms, bathrooms etc) .  This is VERY ACCURATE INFORMATION.  Probablly far more accurate then a realtor.  The fog comes into play when the home owners start updating the upgrades on the home.  In your sample 209 lakeshore may have been upgraded but no one updated Zillow.com regarding the changes.  It is the home owners responsability to update zillow if they want to see a valid estimate on the value of a property as public records do not track what home owners are doing to upgrade a property.  also keep in mind a home is only worth what the most desporate home owner on the block is willing to sell a home for.  If I sold my 200k home for 90k because I lost my job and cannot make the payments other homes on my block that are like homes will have a price drop as well.
  • February 04 2011
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

zillow pricing estimates are derived though a complex algorithim.  However they are often inaccurate.  The best way to estimate value is by using a professional
  • October 02 2010
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for orlando hernandez
Well...obviously 1 respondent of the 3 really read the question.  

That person is Simon Mills.  even though he didn't answer it.  

It's evident by his response that Robert Koczon didn't even bother checking the addresses, but was more interested in what Jin Yang had to say, which wasn't much at all. Mr. Koczon didn't bother to read the entire question, let alone check the addresses. The house upgades were updated on the site over a year ago including photos. 

Each of the four addresses share a property line, have identical floor plans and land area which blows away Jin Yang's ill-conceived response.

2/3 of the realtors that responded to this question didn't fully understand it or were to lazy to do a little research.

not worth 3 or 6 percent.






 

  • October 01 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Mills Realty
This should be the poster child of why the Zestimate should not be used to value property.  That is a huge swing in pricing for comparable homes.
  • September 30 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Here is a link to a page where you can show what improvements and upgrades you have made to a house.  Link

Here is a link to the page where they show how bad their zestimates can be.

http://www.zillow.com/howto/DataCoverageZestimateAccuracy.htm

Again they are estimates.  As Jin said, find a local realtor or hire an appraiser for a more accurate estimate/value. 
  • September 29 2010
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Though zestimates can give you an "estimate" of prices, it can not take into factors such as views and remodeling. It only looks at geographical areas and then condenses these into home values. Please do not rely on this value. Have a real estate professional in your area help guide you on a more accurate value of your home. Good luck!
  • September 29 2010
  • 2Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.