Profile picture for BenM1

Zillow estimate of my home

I live at 9109 Matthews Pl. NE in Seattle. I have followed Zillow estimates since you started. I am puzzled why the Zillow estimate of my home is $640K and my next door neighbor's home (9105) is $60K more. I have been through both houses in 2008 when I purchased my home. The homes are essentially the same size with similar amenities, except we have done a great deal of landscaping and have made numerous improvements inside and out. How can our house be worth that much less when my neighbor has not landscaped nor made any improvements? Someone at Zillow has not even evaluated how the house look from the outside...at the least.
  • April 16 2010 - Matthews Beach
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Answers (5)

Please keep in mind Zillow is a "free" resource...
  • April 17 2010
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Profile picture for BenM1
Of course I would not expect Zillow to look at every house and I am sure you picking up data from data base that are at your disposal. This makes the disparity in home values between the house next door and mine even more ludicrous. They were built at the same time by the same builder on comparable lots. I have taken the time to customize the Zillow profile of my house, which adds items that are not in publicly available data bases. In fact, my house sold for more because I bought in March of 2008 before the market had turned down sharply.

I am not selling the house, so I am not going to have it appraised nor continue this discussion. I just wanted to highlight a disparity in values in your estimates that has no basis that I can see.
  • April 17 2010
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Zillow can't be expected to go to each home and give a fair market value for each.  Their numbers are based on a formula taking into consideration a number of facts.  Your right, it is an "estimate".  I wouldn't use that number to make any assumptions except the general movement of the market over time. 

If you want a better estimate of your homes value, you need to contact a qualified agent in your area and have them come out and to a CMA for you. 

We do it all the time and you will get much more specific information about your home.


Take Care.
  • April 17 2010
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Zillow doesn't go to any house to see how it looks. Their records come from recent sales and tax records. Zillow is solely a zestimate as they promote it to be. An agent or an appraiser can give you a much more accurate value of your home.
  • April 16 2010
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
Ben,
The FAQ tab has some great videos about how Zillow collects and generates their Zestimates.

The essence of the program is:
1.  Zillow does not edit the public information that it gathers from the county records.  They have millions of homes in their database and no staff to do any editing, let alone interpreting of any data on individual homes. This is one of the reasons why you will find a link to request a more accurate valuation next to the Zestimate.
2. Zillow's program allows for owner editing of the home facts.  (see the videos mentioned above)  Can you imagine what this does to the accuracy of the figures?  Anyone can write almost anything about their own home!  All of this is fully disclosed by Zillow.
3. The Value Range (found in the Charts and Graphs section) is far more interesting than the Zestimate.  My guess is that your home and your neighbor's home overlap, which gives some room for the differences that you describe.
4. Appraisers, banks, lenders and assessors do not use Zillow to establish the value of a home for all of the reasons that I've described above.  Some Realtors use the estimates as one of many ways that they have of establishing value, but the data has to be interpreted.
5. You'll find that editing your own homes facts will make the information public, if you are interested in marketing your home.  This information is of no interest to the county assessor.

Hope this helps.  Have fun!
  • April 16 2010
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