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Why is my estimate way off?

Hi,
We purchased this home last year for 89k.  At the time, the zestimate said it was worth 91k.  However, around that time of year on the current graph, it says it was worth on 79k.  Also, now it's only worth 79k, when comps in our neighborhood have sold for 130k, and the "similar homes" on the site list homes for around 90-95k.  I just need help; I'm not angry, just trying to figure it out.  We're trying to refinance soon, and I'm afraid an appraiser would do the same, resulting in no equity.
  • July 06 2011 - Springfield
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Answers (3)

Zestimates are notoriously innaccurate.   The info they have on your home (or the supposed comps) is often inaccurate (# of rooms, squ. footage, etc) and it just does the best that it can.   Take it with a grain of salt.  But, it's as good of a "free" indication of your value as anything else.  An appraisal would of course be more accurate (although, as a general rule, appraisals are running VERY conservative these days).   If you check and see what similar homes have sold within the last three months within a mile, that will give you a better idea than Zillow can.   Ultimately, and this is probably obvious, your home is worth what you can get for it and you never know that for sure until you put it on the market.   Everything else is speculative. 
  • July 07 2011
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Profile picture for rachelk020
Thanks.  I've been keeping an eye on houses in our neighborhood.  I know a home sold recently a few blocks away for $130, and it's about 200 sq. ft. smaller than ours.  I'm just upset because we've done a lot of work to the house over the year.

I'm hoping the value really hasn't dropped that much.  We were hoping with work done to the house it will appraise for more than we paid.

Thanks again!
  • July 07 2011
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Profile picture for shapiroamg
I would not worry about zillow. Appraisals are based on recently closed sales of (hopefully) similar sized and aged homes. Look in your area for  recent sales of homes that would compare to your's. Since its only been a year, it wouldn't suprise me if your home may have lost a little value or gained a little. This will run area to area and by no means do I have any expertise in your's. I would just say that nothing would ever suprise me these days in regards to value and how it changes. Good luck.
  • July 06 2011
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