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Update on previous question re: Zillow vs actual appraisal

Early in March I wrote asking why Zillow est. was 300K and appraisal was 240K-thanks to everyone for your feedback-I appreciate it.  I had my home appraised one month later and it came in at 335K with Zillow at 295K.  Different lender, different appraisal company and very much different comps.  I just closed on my loan.  I guess the process is not standardized and it was worth the extra cost.
  • May 09 2011 - Danbury
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Answers (2)

Thanks for sharing your experience Mark.  Yes, Zillow can be a great resource for giving you an idea of price range for your home and the neighborhood being considered.

Zillow relies heavily on the Tax Value of your home which is determined by the county in which you live and is available through public records.

Most Realtors will tell you there is a big difference between tax value and market value and certainly both realtors and appraisers value determinations are only as good as they are at extrapolating the information from comparable sales data and the neighborhood.

Use Zillow for an idea of your value, call a Realtor (or two or three) to come out and look at your home and help you get a more precise idea of value.  Anyone can call any Realtor in our industry and they should welcome the opportunity to help you determine value and this is ALWAYS a free service.
  • May 10 2011
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As you see valuing homes is not an exact science and has varables. You piss of the appraiser and you may get a lower appraisal. You treat him/her to Scotch and a movie, you may get a higher one.

Appraisal 101 says if you have 10 appraisals done on one home and they will all be different. Part of it is human nature.

Different appraisals USUALLY dont have different comps, and the guidelines are getting stricter. When Ive seen low appraisals in the last few years, its usually because the appraiser is trying to be uber-conservative, thinking that since the appraiser is working (NOW) for an AMC (middle man), a conservative appraisals equates to a good appraisal, where in 2000-2006 a good appraisal equated to a HIGH appraisal. Good appraisals are accurate appraisals, answering the question for the lender, 'How much could we sell the property for if we had to take back the home'

Congrats on your refi !



  • May 09 2011
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