Why are Zillow estimates of property value so far off the mark on some homes.

  • August 28 2010 - Cupertino
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Answers (5)

The "zestimates" are computer-generated based on information provided by tax records.
When additions/remodels are done tax records aren't always updated to reflect them. There are many aspects to getting top dollar for a home, condition, location, marketing, etc. A computer can't see the interior of the home or feel the emotional appeal a home offers. A zestimate can give you an idea of neighborhood values but it is important to get the opinion of a professional Realtor that specializes in your area.
  • October 08 2010
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Zillow is good at estimating house values in consistent neighborhoods (lot zie, age, house size, etc). Likewise, in inconsistent neighborhoods it doesn't know if one house is renovated and one isn't, if one has a lake view and one doesn't, etc.
  • October 08 2010
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Houses are very different from one another.  Zillow is pretty good at looking at averages, but you will always find pockets of areas where the houses just are not easily comparable.  Looking at the general price of a house in a neighborhood, by house size and lot size will give you an approximation of the value, I would say 80% of the time.  It is the other 20% that requires special (human) attention, many times. 
I hope this helps.
Francis
www.TrendsbyFrancis.com
  • October 07 2010
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Profile picture for Carrie Bryden
It is a computer generated "zestimate". Your home could have more amenities or updating compared to the house next door that sold, but the system uses that for a comp, not taking into account upgrades or amenities you might have that are better than the neighboring house. Your best bet is to have an agent provide you with a CMA, or get a proper appraisal.
  • August 29 2010
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Well, let's see.
Data does not appear to cover all homes for sale/sold, so it is a limited set of information.
Homes that have been removed from sale are still shown for sale. Homes that have sold are still shown for sale. All this leads to inaccurate data feeding "joe public" who may not be aware of the shortcomings of the information.
House values are not assessed by reviewing comparable houses and comparable neighborhoods. There is no point comparing apples to oranges. It has to be apples to apples and Zillow unfortunately does not do this.
Buyer & seller beware!
  • August 28 2010
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