I find as a real estate agent, that the Zillow estimates are completely wrong, useless & harmful.

The estimates obviously incorporate lots, rentals, and foreclosures. Don't take in to consideration location such as waterfront, or golf course views, etc. I find them totally useless and most buyers who come to me after being on Zillow are competely uninformed and had unrealistic expectations. Please let me know what you think.
  • January 06 2009 - Waldorf
  • 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 (7)

Profile picture for Bert Pope
Zillow comprises it's data from your local property appraisers information. The values are based upon size, location and recent sales. These are the fundamental tools used in valuing real estate. This can give a fairly close valuation of homes in a consolidated neighborhood that was all developed within a 10 year period.
When it comes to older neighborhoods or locations that change from block to block, these valuations get distorted. There is a lack of understanding through the zillow valuation which homes have been remodeled or are in need of much repair.
Just use it for what it is, it is a tool. Zillow does not in any way determine a homes absolute value. There is not an appraiser in the world that uses zillow to verify any data. 
  • April 06 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.

In our area Zestimates are not even close to accurate.  I think they are more reliable in like kind neighborhoods.  Here on the coast the values change from street to street, etc.  I recently had a client that wanted to check zillow before they signed an offer to purchase.  I explained to them that the recent comps that I found will help them to establish the value.  The price that I suggested  was  $35K less than the Zillow estimate, in fact the asking price was $20K less that the Zillow estimate.    They also had a family member that wanted  information on what the houses were assessed at 5 years ago.  This puzzled me as well because our assessments are not accurate either. To get the true value your buyers/sellers agent will pull the comps of similar homes in the area to see what they sold for. 
  • April 05 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.

I agree that since I wrote this question in 2009, Zillow and other price opinion websites' estimates have gotten better. They are still way off in many areas though. I still have listers and buyers who come to me with Zestimates of their properties and are surprised or disappointed when my CMA is different... sometimes vastly different. I wish Zillow wouldn't have the estimates at all... it really clouds the waters, makes my job more difficult overall.
  • April 05 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.

I've been using Zillow for over 6 years, I've found Zestimates are currently more in line with values. Not 100%, but a lot closer. Tax assesments have equalized somewhat with market values seems to be the reason for this. Agents that don't think Forclosures and Short Sales don't impact the market are completly wrong, They are the market.  Zillow has come a long way since 2004. As a listing agent, I tell sellers that Zillow and sites similar to it are having an impact on buyers price opinion. Think about it, a buyer is more likley to believe similar estimated values they see on the internet than they will believe a sales person who's trying to make a buck selling a house.  
  • April 15 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 sunnyview
I think you're right Mark when you say that a Zestimate should be the starting point. I have seen Zestimates that make me say whoa wait a minute, but I don't stop there and take it as the last word on value.
  • January 06 2009
  • 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 sunnyview
I actually do agree that the Zestimate is the least valuable piece of information that Zillow provides and does tend to confuse some people, but I disagree with you on your main point. I think that Zillow is a valuable resource for home buyers, owners and sellers. Personally, I use the recently closed sales and the Zindex for the neighborhoods that I follow. What I see is that many buyers and sellers can successfully use this information to make good choices in real estate if they are given the tools to use the raw information available for themselves. As an agent, I would hope that you would concentrate on giving them help in selecting a "good comp" vs a bad one and talk to them about trends in their neighborhoods vs. the Zestimate values. An educated buyer may threaten some realtors, but others do welcome informed customers and are willing to take the time to talk to them about the forces that drive the market if they are interested in learning about them. Zillow isn't about propping up expectations. It about providing the consumer with raw information they can use once they know how. If they need help in interpreting the data they see here, hopefully you can help them in your professional capacity as their agent.
  • January 06 2009
  • 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 Mark75NYC
As a potential buyer (and a homeowner) I find the Zestimates to be useful and a great starting point for an educated buyer to reach his own conclusion about a home's value.

No automated/online valuation tool will ever be as accurate as a personal, on-site appraisal that can take into consideration things like the condition of the house, the view, the landscaping, and other intangibles.  But as a starting point, Zestimates are a great thing; especially the ability to compare the relative Zestimates among different properties.

Most sellers (and agents) won't like Zestimates due to the nature of the market -- prices are collapsing and sellers and agents don't want to see that.
  • January 06 2009
  • 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.