Profile picture for EST2

Please explain in detail the ``algorithms'' you use to calculate zestimates.

My house is valued at 25K lower than the exact same property down the street.  And the latter has increased in zestimate terms as mine has declined by your measure. I know mine is worth significantly more than your site estimates having had it appraised recently for a refi, so it appears you're not going to the same ``well'' for information on comparable listings. While I know conditions have little to do with your calculations,  I also know the comparable house on my block hasn't been renovated in about 40 years, while mine was very recnetly. You prompt for the owner to provide additional information. Any time I have the estimate seems to come in lower.  Please explain in exact detail ALL the information you use to compile listings and WHY there are discrepancies. Some of the answers I've seen given in the past appear dileberately opaque. If you say you use empirical data, let's see it. Saying you use algorithms doesn't explain it properly to uninitiated.  What are the data points you use? Do you use the same data points for all comparable properties? It doesn't look like you do? If not, why not?  And if not, what's the true value of a zestimate? Many thanks. 
  • March 28 2013 - Greenwood
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Answers (2)

Profile picture for Dunes ..
You may get some non-staff fielding this but I doubt Zillow will,,it's all secret

Perhaps this will help a bit
From last year..
What Stan Humphries Economist for Zillow said and some discussion plus I asked why they didn't allow people to opt out of having a Zestimate
Stan Humphries Chief Economist of Zillow Explains Zestimates

The CEO of Zillow
"Regarding why we don't let owners opt their home out of Zestimates: we believe that providing home valuations, as imperfect as they might sometimes be, is in the public interest. Access to this type of information benefits the overall market, and frankly if real estate data including Zestimates had been more readily available in the 2003-2006 bubble era (which was pre-Zillow), perhaps we wouldn't be paying the price today in our overall economy. Information empowers people to make smarter decisions. This is true in every part of our economy, especially the ones where decisions are particularly important (e.g., health care, financial services, real estate). I truly believe that the real estate market is better off due to the information that Zillow provides."
(LINK)

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  • March 28 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Zilllow describes the factors in "What is a Zestimate?", including a discussion of the impact of upgrades.

You can also read a couple of their patents for more details (link one, link two).

A Zestimate is not an appraisal, but a computer generated point with a value range done without a site visit.



  • March 28 2013
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