What do you think about the accuracy of Zestimate? High or Low? Accurate or Way Off?

I am having problem with the Zestimate, it never with in 10% of the real market value.
  • August 15 2010 - Newton
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Answers (12)

Profile picture for wsoxman
I have a problem with my County Tax Assessors Office. Talk about pulling numbers out of the air that reflect your fair property taxes. The county seems to over look that the housing market is in the ditch and houses are not selling (Chicago Area)
Why the government uses some abstract Market Value to calculate my taxes is wacko. Most taxes are based on income, and sales. A house going up or down in value has nothing to do with the ability to pay your fair share of property taxes.
I would suggest that any persons shopping for a home contact their local taxing districts and get an idea what FUTURE taxes will be.
  • August 19 2010
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Z-estimates are useful to look at general neighborhood values. It's a rough estimate. For individual properties there is no substitute for a thorough analysis by a seasoned professional using good data and sound judgment.

  • August 18 2010
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I tell clients that it is a good ESTIMATE but does not take into account many factors and therefore needs to be taken with a grain of salt
  • August 18 2010
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Wow Zillow's Zestimate causes me lots of grief!  I've had talks with contacts from Zillow and it really is a technical/data driven model that moves every home's 'zestimated' value up and down based on the factors fed to it.  I always tell my clients to look at these numbers for entertainment purely.  These numbers are close in some cases - so you folks who have seemingly accurate 'zestimates' don't get upset when I say this.  For MY market, in the Reading/Woburn/Lexington Masschusetts area, Zillow's zestimates are not accurate and are in some cases (I have one listing like this) they are wildly inaccurate.  Look at what's sold that are similar to your home to get your own idea of your home's estimated value.  For a true value, call your trusted Real Estate professional. 
  • August 18 2010
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Profile picture for shapiroamg
  • August 17 2010
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Profile picture for Mheisler2
Zillow is a mathematical model.  Math, as far as I know, is unable to calculate highway noise, floor plan, taste, and lot desirability, among other subjective factors.  Those factors (and others) are going to result in estimates to true market value (and we'll leave off to the side that the market ebbs and flows, and can easily move 2-3% when you're not looking! )



Anywya, that's why it's a Z-estimate, and not a Zarket Zalue.  (Market Value).  



Matt
  • August 17 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
"The onlt way to get the accurate market value is through a Real Estate agent r an appraiser."

The only way to get an accurate market value is by selling the house in an open transaction.
 
I've gotten more than my share of CMAs from REAs that weren't worth the paper used to print them. Quite bluntly, REAs have too many reasons to skew the CMA to try and influence the client. If you're going with a CMA, get multiples and pay close attention to the comps being used.

An appraiser should be more objective, but when push-comes-to-shove it is one person's opinion (however, informed) of a potential value.

As for Zestimates, it really depends on the quantity and quality of data that Zillow has to work with. When I've bothered to check, the Zestimate trends withn 5%-10% of what I come up with as a value by looking at recent sales and doing some rough $/sqft calcs. In other areas, I understand Zillow has a much greater error margin.

Bottom line...Zestimate is a fun "thumbnail" tool, but should never be considered as a reliable source for values.
  • August 15 2010
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All of the above. The onlt way to get the accurate market value is through a Real Estate agent r an appraiser.
  • August 15 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
"get a realtor or two" has been recommended.  My experience is their accuracy is only marginally better than that of Zillow.
  • August 15 2010
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Zestimate is not accurate. It is a system set by geeks, not real estate professionals. When you are looking for an instant answer on a property value, you'll get an "instant"  sensantional answer and it will be  too high or too low or way off, as you put it.  Zillow collects sales statistics from MLS data, town records and home features on all properties. Zillow value is based on averages of  neighborhood values they come up with.   Those are based partly on some sales statistics and partly on some averages of property amenities. For instance; if your small ranch home needs works and is located within close proximity to some larger homes in an adjacent sub division with better anenities, your home value will be much higher then what I would price it at. Or your home will be evaluated much lower by Zillow as they may not take into account some unique features of your spacific neighborhood or huge updates of your home. Zestimate is for fun- its always nice to get a high value and boast about it, but not so fun to get a very low value on your home where you cant do much about it. If you need a serious analysis, get a realtor or two.
  • August 15 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Some are high, some low, some are spot on.    Within 20% of fair market value is great for a statistical model.

I had three appraisers give values on a property (paid).   The range was 20% (and actually sold higher than the highest appraisal).   Therefore, for a statistical model to give the same as humans looking at the property is pretty amazing.

  • August 15 2010
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Zestimate® Values & Accuracy  go here to learn about Zillows' Zestimate.  You can down load to an excel file for your area in Newton.  Zillow is the only site that posts its accuracy on property valuation.

Best,

Eric
  • August 15 2010
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