Profile picture for alvis67

Why do you even post Zestimates?

From the "Zestimate" info page:
My Zestimate is too low - or too high. What gives?

As we said, the Zestimate is a starting point in figuring out the true value of a house. For one thing, the amount of data we have affects the Zestimate accuracy. If your home facts are incorrect, which may affect your Zestimate value.

You're kidding right? You admit that your not accurate, so why post? This kind if service is fine for cars and furniture but not homes. In my opinion, as a person selling a home, this Zestimate is ridiculous. My home was professionally appraised at almost $50,000 higher than this "BS" "Zestmate". If someone gets on this site and sees my house "Zestimated" at $100,000 and I have it listed at $150,000. Then I look like I'm trying to rip someone off. It should be illegal for an "entity" to post estimated values on a person's private property without getting permission. Especially if they are going to screw it up this bad. I apologize for sounding condescending but I feel this could seriously jeopardize my chances at selling my home for what it's worth. 
  • September 22 2011 - Corydon
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Answers (10)

Profile picture for blue screen exile
The more discrepancy there is between a machine opinion of approximate value, and a List price, the more page views the home details page gets to see "why"; thus it is a "marketing advantage", not a "problem".

As for it being a statistical site?  Of course it is!  Much more so than sites like trulia or realtor.com.

For more information on the "statistics" of the estimates, see the thread:
Research on Zestimates part 2

Also, down load the tolerance data by county in Excel format.

And as far as market indexes, the site tracks more markets and more accurately than Case-Shiller.  For more information on that, see:
Case-Shiller not just a home price index

As for real estate agents that only think the site is for entertainment?
Perhaps that is the only reason they are here, as likely they don't get many sales based on the content they post.

I'm not here to try to find people to give me a commission; I'm here to get market trend data, and this is one of the best sites available for that purpose, especially at no cost to me.
  • September 22 2011
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Think of this in a positive light...

If your Zestimate is low, that probably means that your property's assessed value is also too low.  If your assessed value is lower than it should be, your property taxes are also lower than they should be.

So while your low Zestimate may be off-putting on face value, it probably means less money per year that you are shelling out for your local government.

Food for thought...
  • September 22 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I think that it's unfair to dismiss Zillow as an "entertainment site". Zillow has a lot of useable information closed sales, median prices, neighborhood profiles etc. that buyers and sellers can use to be more informed.

Until the local MLS systems are willing to make all their information public, I think that agents need to understand that buyers need a place to get their own information. Local professionals are valuable, but without any sources of outside information buyers and sellers rely upon their complete honesty. That can be dangerous unless you really know your agent and market.
  • September 22 2011
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Alvis, The problem is that Zillow is an entertainment site. It is not a statistical site. I don't know how or why people started to take their information as gospel, but it's no different than looking up your horoscope or playing farmville on Face Book. You wouldn't be upset if your horoscope said you were "Going to receive a windfall today" and nothing happened. Enjoy the site but call a local professional if you need accurate information.
  • September 22 2011
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If a potential Buyer of your home has a Buyer's Agent, the Buyer's Agent will tell the Buyer that a Zestimate is only an estimate based on public records.  We tell that to our Buyers & they are fine with looking at homes that that have a listing price in their price.  We tell our Sellers the same thing; and, they are fine with the explanation. 
  • September 22 2011
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Profile picture for alvis67

Gee thanks Mr. Curtis. That was helpful input... You're wrong by the way. It would be an issue because I deal fairly with people and I expect the same in return.

  • September 22 2011
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It wouldnt be an issue if the Zestimate was $50K higher than your appraisal.. . .
  • September 22 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Some buyers may take Zillow as gospel, but informed buyers don't and neither do agents. Most buyers will have an agent and any good agent will provide a CMA before they make their first offer.

The Zestimate is one number, but it is a very broad tool. When I bought my house the Zestimate was 100K more than my offer price. It was crazy and I knew it. I agree with you. Some buyers will look at the one number and stop looking, but they will find out quickly that good deals are not determined by any automated valuation. If they were, I should have sold my house the day after I bought it for the Zesitmate price to a buyer who didn't know better.
  • September 22 2011
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Profile picture for alvis67
Thank you Ms. Talbot. Very well said, However, the average home owner /buyer, like myself, who knows nothing about CMA's or Tax assessments,etc. will not take these factors into consideration when they look at this. They will "assume" that the information is correct and base their decision on it and move on. Look, if it were off by $1,000 or $2,000 or even $10,000 it may not be as bad but $50,000? I feel like I'm in a different boat. : )
  • September 22 2011
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It's designed to give homes a range like a Comparative Market Analysis is from your local MLS or Realtor. The problem is with the data and where it's pulling and how old the data might be. Please understand that it's not gospel. So the best way we all determine values on our homes is by what's actually selling in our marketplace. My zetimate for my home is low too but the market says different. Also, tax assessment will sometimes support value. The greatest of all indictors is the CMA. It's what we use to assist sellers in pricing their homes and it's what appraisers use to appraise our homes. Not to worry. We are all in the same boat here. Thank you for your question.
  • September 22 2011
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