Profile picture for RickZa

Is zestimate reliable? The average home price are dropped 10% in the past month.

All houses I've visited in Zillow are having a lower zestimate, about 5-10%.  Are the housing market getting worse or how reliable zestimate is? 
  • May 04 2009 - Somerset
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Answers (9)

Profile picture for aravox
In the area we are looking for a home, it seems that the homes are selling for 5-10% higher than the Zillow estimate. The area we live in there are all out bidding wars between cash investors who always seem win out families looking for a first home. Also there are bidding wars between regular buyers trying to paw at the scaps that the investors don't want.Nothing goes below list here for the non-investors without cash.Where I'm sure in other areas of the country not much goes above list. The range of error is going to vary a lot from area to area. Zillow helps but it's missing a lot of specific variables that would adjust the prices in either direction.



  • May 15 2009
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The zestimate is a good indicator for general trends and should not be taken as an absolute.  Also, as mentioned in other comments here, you need to keep in mind the market is very dynamic and changes month to month as interest rates change and seasonal activity, to name a couple of factors.
  • May 15 2009
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Profile picture for space_acer


Zillow needs to update the graph for the past 15-20 years with inflation data. 10 year trend will be meaningless in a few years.

Not that difficult ...

  • May 14 2009
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Profile picture for space_acer
The massive Zillow Super Computer is always right! Blessed are those who seek the wisdom of Zestimates,

May the Zillow Super Computer be with you always!
( provided you bought an Iphone and downloaded the Zillow Apps )

Go forth and worry no more! 

  • May 13 2009
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
Don't forget, if "sales are up", that was often accomplished by "lowering the price".  All estimates are based on what sells in an area, when, and for how much, regardless if it is a machine generated estimate from public records data, a "comparative market analyisis" from Real Estate Agents, or a professional "appraisal" from a licenced "appraiser".

Yes, the market is "bad" in most areas and the prices will continue to drop for probably more than a year.  Until all the foreclosures and pending foreclosures are dealt with, you can't expect much else.  But as the prices were "inflated", it only makes sense for them to continue to drop back to something more reasonable.

10% drop in a month MAY be the "right number".  In my area, many homes have been dropping $50k every month for about a year!
  • May 13 2009
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The zestimate is what the name states, just an estimate. It gives a rough, sometimes very rough, ballpark price of the house that is based on many factors such as recently sold and current listings comparables and other nearby homes in the area. The zestimate is usually good enough to give you an idea of what a house is worth but I would definitely suggest getting a professional second opinion before making any big decisions about your home.
  • May 13 2009
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Profile picture for SeattleHome.com
Good points by NTETS.  The data that you see right now is reflecting sales that happened during the winter and maybe early spring.  Sales are always very slow at that point in the year, and the market was particularly bad this winter. 

When March and April's full numbers come through, you'll see a different picture.  Total numbers of sales were up 44% in King County and 55% in Snohomish County from February to March.
  • May 04 2009
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Profile picture for Mr Caveat
what you are seeing has to do with the zestimate being ill-equipped to operate in this excessively dynamic market... home prices tend to follow the rate of inflation rising or falling by just a few % every year, thus with these huge price drops of 20% on the year, zestimates are constantly playing catchup, especially as the market is heating up and the data-starved zestimate is growing fatter... people complained during the bubble "your zestimate is too low and doesnt take into account my fabulous refrig w/ icemaker!!!!" now of course the zestimate isnt falling fast enough, or is being thrown off by REOs and fixers... eventually the zestimates will be a good number to keep in mind, but for now i would almost always get a second opinion
  • May 04 2009
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