Profile picture for jim855

Is there a routine zestimate bump when listing prices exceed the zestimate?

Example: 5570 Lighthouse Point 98366
  • April 10 2014 - Port Orchard
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Answers (11)

Profile picture for Blue Nile
From the assessor's page:
Year      Land            Bldg            Total        taxable        tax
2014     279,720      438,560      718,280      718,280      8,429.04     
2013     270,840      427,090      697,930      697,930      7,824.88     
2012     301,920      427,090      729,010      729,010      7,738.96     
2011     355,210      499,730      854,940      854,940      8,413.88     
2010     395,170      557,080      952,250      952,250      8,715.64     
2009     415,140      587,670      1,002,810      1,002,810      7,976.80     
2008     415,140      587,670      1,002,810      1,002,810      7,721.40     
2007     375,060      682,400      1,057,460      1,057,460      9,126.44     
2006     279,630      477,060      756,690      756,690      7,449.28     
2005     239,680      400,310      639,990      639,990      7,183.92     
2004     221,930      305,270      527,200      527,200      6,441.04     
2003     221,930      286,720      508,650      508,650      6,458.46     
2002     221,930      281,550      503,480      503,480      6,718.09     
2001     129,480      262,310      391,790      391,790      3,954.57

No clear answers there on any change in value over time or any additional "improvements".

Details page didn't mention any recent changes either.
  • April 18 2014
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Profile picture for hpvanc
I would still flag such properties, even if they are intentionally calculating a bump in the Zestimate based on listed price, there is something wrong with the weighting on some of them.
  • April 18 2014
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Profile picture for jim855
Thanks to all for the answers, or rather, more relevant information.  Since this house did not sell in the 18 months it was on the market, it will be interesting to see what happens with the zestimate if it remains off the market.
  • April 18 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
has they do  ----> *as* they do

(Sorry for the typo... didn't catch it soon enough to edit it)
  • April 18 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
As for agent changes on that listing when posted as compared to county records;
No changes to bedroom count, bathroom count, livable square footage, lot size, number of stories, year built, or year last remodeled.

The listing price therefore is the most likely candidate.

Again, with the other example given in the thread referenced, there were 3 almost identical units that had very similar estimating trends, until the "list price" was posted for one of them.
  • April 17 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
By the way, Zillow customer service staff tends to not answer questions like this.  Stan (Chief Economist) might be able to answer, but he probably would choose not to.

http://www.zillow.com/profile/Stan-Humphries/
  • April 17 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
Well, here is that chart for that 5570 Lighthouse Dr example:



(right click, then choose "view image" to see full size to read the text).

As predicted, the estimate did not start rising until after the list price was posted, and the list posting was prior to the next month's estimate.  The monthly estimates seem to be the prior estimate before the close of the month, but there are some exceptions, so it is not clear how they really arrive at the estimate for the month from the nominally 3 times per week estimates, but it is clearly not an "average" of the estimates during the month.

And as with other "new data" posted to a home details page, it is an exponential phase in function, before it reaches the new value.

BUT they are not using a 2 month phase in period has they do for other data changes, but they are using a 6 month phase in period.

Whether it is acceptable?  Clearly the "sold price" history is acceptable to use in the estimating.  Clearly the "list price" history is in the "price history" on Zillow.  Clearly list prices reflect what an agent thinks a property can be sold for, and it does consider "existing condition".

So, other than it might affect the calculations of how close the sold prices came to the estimates, it seems like it might be a good idea to consider listing price in the estimating.  As the average time to sell is about 6 months, it appears a 6 month phase in period might be reasonable.  And one can see, it still used other data... the estimate did not rise to the "listed" price.

This is similar to the other example reviewed, where the list price was lower then the estimate rather than higher.
  • April 17 2014
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Profile picture for hpvanc
While I don't think it is that common, there have been enough threads posted on the subject that there may be a bug causing a few listings to do it. It may be worth flagging the properties you have seen get the Zestimate bump after listing if there are not difference between the County Record and All Sources data. Your question brought to mind this thread from a couple of years ago, from someone who did have a reasonable idea of what Zestimates are and are not, and how they are theoretically calculated.
  • April 17 2014
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Zillow does not use listing prices in their algorithm.    It is not unusual to see the Zestimate change when a home is just listed because the owner or agent has edited home facts, filling in missing values and perhaps correcting other values.

  • April 17 2014
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Profile picture for jim855
I'm surprised I have not heard anything from the Zillow moderator on this.  If indeed they are bumping up zestimates to more closely match listing prices, it would call to question their stats on the accuracy of the zestimates.
  • April 17 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
It is not indicated in any of the documentation about the Zestimates...
http://www.zillow.com/zestimate/

Nor is it listed as one of the variables, even on their patent:
US Patent #8,140,421

However, recent review of a Zestimate trend compared to similar neighboring units did indicated that the List price was one of the variables affecting the estimates, at least in some areas:
http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Bug-in-Zestimate-calculation/534816/
  • April 10 2014
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