Profile picture for jayveedub

Zillow vs. Reality

Just a note -- my condo in the Los Angeles area just sold for almost $100,000 more than the latest Zillow estimate (which was revised down very recently).  Zillow was off -- low -- by about 21%.  No real comment here and not a complaint, just a note that Zillow can only be a starting place and can't take into account or properly evaluate unique attributes of any property. 
  • November 11 2010 - San Pedro
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Answers (20)

Yes...Zillow is a starting point, as you said. I always compare my appraised values to the ZIllow values after I do the appraisals. I compared my home with other estimates also here, and everyone was 'wrong'. That said, Zillow is great since its free - real appraisals cost money...
  • November 11 2010
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Zillow is a great tool, but not very accurate on valuation of homes. I get clients all the time looking at properties then say, "but Zillow has it estimated at ......" Frustrating for us, but that's where we have to educate our clients on the pros and cons of Zillow.
  • November 11 2010
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Profile picture for Trinidad.Gaeta
I attended an agent reboot conference and Zillow reps stated that Zillow's disclaimer is that their Zestimates can be off up to 20% of accurate value with a 5% chance of error. 

That should answer your question. :) 



Trinidad Gaeta
  • November 11 2010
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Profile picture for Mills Realty
Your experience is unfortunately not unique.  Over time I think Zillow will get their Zestimate fine tuned, but for now it should have a disclaimer "For Entertainment Purposes Only".
  • November 11 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs

Congratulations on your sale.    Was the sale price within the zestimate range (a range that most ignore)?

  • November 11 2010
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
One person said the zestimate came within 3% of what their house appraised for. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is off.
  • November 11 2010
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Excellent point...it is just a starting point...there are many varibles to consider !
  • November 12 2010
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I dont know of any of my clients who use Zillow for the Zestimate. Most just look at the recent sold feature.

  • November 13 2010
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Profile picture for mr.kasperfx
•  jayveedub  can you share the address and price so we could check the issue claimed" is a true statement      I  use the word "claimed"" because their seem to be a lot more of these type of post " my house sold for % more than estimated"  are appearing here and could simple be propaganda by the sell side to serve their "blue sky's ahead"  mission here.
  • November 13 2010
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Profile picture for sgmmgs
You're correct...it is just a starting point.
  • November 15 2010
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Zillow does have some good valuable information. But you will get the true value from an appraiser or a Realtor.  An appraiser can do a full appraisal of which was done for the buyer of your condo.  These are the most accurate.  Prior to the listing of your condo, the agent would have done a CMA and the information is pulled directly from the MLS and the County Assessor's Office.  Again, Zillow is a great site for many things, but value is one area that needs a little more human touch.  There are factors that come into play that are more than just the figures that are reported.
  • November 17 2010
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Profile picture for Sylvia Becker

I only look at Zillow Zestimates for amusement.

  • November 17 2010
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Profile picture for amboy1
Ok,
I love Zillow.
I know professionals using it professionally.
You know who you are.
BPO's are tuff too because nobody actually goes to see the house.
They do it based on comparables in the mile area and any pictures they can get.
Nothing is ever black and white, is it?

I think a good BPO requires going to see the home physically and comparing the wear and tear vs the house that sold next door.

Zillow is still a good tool but not accurate.

A-
  • November 17 2010
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Oh so true, Zillow is not a place for a real value assesmeent......Fun place to hear intersting stories perhaps, but it will never replace my job..
  • November 17 2010
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Zestimates are NOT accurate in some parts of the country. It is NOT at all accurate where in Central Suffolk County, Long Island, New York where I do business. This is because there is no accurate, publicly available information on sold homes from the tax assessor's office. The only easily available information gives the address and the sale price. There is nothing to compare age, size, functional utility, condition or any other pertinent information online.  Zestimates just uses location as comparable. Even location alone can give very inaccurate values as homes may be in different school districts, in a new development vs an old one, waterfront vs non-waterfront.  If you want an Accurate Value for your home, get an appraisal from a Licensed/Certified State Appraiser!
  • November 18 2010
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Congratulations!  A piece of real estate has much more intangible value than Zillow's mathematical formula can ever take into consideration,  This can work in your favor or against you since Zillow does not know the upgrades and views (or lack thereof), how well a property shows or how well it is marketed.  Zillow is fun, although an appraiser is a better indicator of value, but the best indicator is what the property will command on the open market.
  • December 25 2010
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Zillow is the first to admit their information may not be accurate.  They tend to take a radius that could bring in another city or neighborhood that could skew the results. I could never understand how they could even have my neighbor's home so much different than mine.
  • November 13 2013
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In short sales it has been very common for servicers to turn to Zillow for their estimates and for a while, lenders were cross checking values with ZIllow before approving a traditional loan based on current appraisal. Almost every consumer I know of, who has a smart phone, has become hooked on following listings on Zillow and Realtor.com or RedFin. They like the sense of empowerment it gives them in providing the data. They don't really care as to validity and that is where the art of persuasion has to be used to bring them around when there are differences in values. I have lost a few clients because of the zestimates and have seen my husband lose loan deals or I have had short sales not be approved as a result of zestimates, so it can be a force to be reckoned with, depending on the consumer personality or the difference in value. I would say it is a 50/50 tool that it has advantages and disadvantages for all who use it, it is a matter of using it wisely that counts in the end.
  • November 15 2013
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Zillow uses the tools developed to replace appraisals. They were unsuccessful. They take general numbers on recent sales and plug them into an equation. It doesn't take into consideration upgrades, lot size, location (as in next to a railroad track, etc).
Zillow values may put you in the general ballpark but will never be accurate.
  • November 18 2013
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The folks at Zillow are not shy about flat out telling you that Zestimate should NOT be relied upon and that it is close to actual listing/selling prices maybe 20% of the time.  You'll spend more time combating potential listing leads citing Zestimates compared to your recommended listing amount.  The score can be better influenced by nearby sales along with better information provided by the owner however Zillow has a long way to go before Realtors will consider Zestimate anything other than an objection handling scenario.
  • November 19 2013
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