Profile picture for vinette

i bought my house for close to a million and zillows information is completely incorrect -573, 000

  • December 02 2011 - Warren
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Answers (16)

Profile picture for hpvanc
I would ask an agent about proof of their quality control audits on CMA's whether I like the value or not. 

There are no shortage of discussions on Zillow forums and other places about Appraisers doing their jobs correctly providing an unbiased 3rd party opinion and ignoring the appeals of irate owners and agents that their refinance or deal will fall through.  If you would like to see them do a google search.
  • December 07 2011
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
"..and there is a 'person' who you can discuss if unhappy..."  -

A buyer has absolutely no say in the CMA provided to a seller, except to make a different offer than the listing price.  If the buyer contacts the listing agent and tries to say the CMA is wrong, the listing agent will simply say that if they want to make an offer, put it in writing, and that they should be discussion such things with their own agent instead as they only represent the seller.

And a Seller has absolutely no say in the Appraisal paid for by the buyer to an appraiser selected by the buyer's lender.  If the seller tries to contact the appraiser regarding the appraisal, the seller would just be told that the report was prepared for their client and they are not a liberty to discuss it with a third party without authorization.

And a buyer that requests their agent prepare a CMA on a home that is not on the market so that the buyer can approach the owner with an unsolicited offer?  The owner has absolutely no say in such an opinion being generated nor the use of such an opinion.

In general, if you are not paying for the generation of the opinion, then you don't have any say in the opinion.  And since Zillow doesn't charge anyone for their machine generated opinions of approximate value, no one is supposed to have any say regarding it.  But anyone can flag those or "report a problem" with those if there appears to be statistical anomalies.  And any owner can claim their home on Zillow and write a comment regarding the estimate that is as prominent as the estimate.  And any owner can set an arbitrary "make me move" to show on the maps in place of the estimate.

And of the 300 employees at Zillow, at least 25 of them are fairly easy to reach during regular business hours about 5 days a week.  And one always could just drop by their office.  The CEO has often posted people on the forum are welcome to drop in anytime and that they will provide a tour and the snacks and discuss anything about Real Estate or the website or business model you wish.

  • December 07 2011
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
"real estate agents and appraisers will know the true value of your home..."  -

Real Estate Agents and Appraisers only offer "estimates" as well.  At least Appraisers have some math background and are licensed to give their opinion for multiple uses.

Zillow's terms of use state their machine opinion is not to be used for loan qualifications, sales prices, offers, etc. but is only a starting point for further evaluation.
  • December 07 2011
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it is just an estimate. dont let it stress you out. real estate agents and appaisers will know the true value of your home when it comes time to sell
  • December 07 2011
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Unfortunately zillow estimates are still not very accurate, I have complained about this for years. Zillow has been working on it but to no avail. Generally they take sales near your home without accurate comparison. If you are the most expensive home on your street and let's say a few others had recently sold there, they would use them to compare even if they are not a true comparison (ie maybe a 4000 sq ft home and 2  2000 sq ft homes) this would not be a true representation of homes sold so estimating your home would be inaccurate based on those sales.  As realtor and appraiser, we would use the MLS for accurate comparison, size, sqft, style, rooms, baths, etc..Zestimates are generally inaccurate and mostly used by people curious about what their home is worth. The only way to have an accurate value is to hire a professional to do the research properly.

  • December 06 2011
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Profile picture for SteadyState
I have been comparing Zestimates in Sunnyvale, Cupertino, and Saratoga (SFO bay area) for the past month and if anything the Zestimates are just slightly higher than the recent selling prices. It's an algorithm - the more data and information the better the estimate.The decay function is nontrivial to implement. Perhaps Zillow is implementing a linear fit - faster and quicker to implement but less accurate than a non-linear fit that can get very involved.
  • December 06 2011
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...well maybe you overpayed , hard to tell without an address.......
  • December 06 2011
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Vinette,  I can see many on this post are telling you not to get stressed.  It is a reasonable concern considering we have the public who read the zestimate and rely on it to be accurate.  Yes, we Realtors who know the area will know the difference - what about those agents who do not know the area??
I would suggest for Zillow to update the pictures of properties, some homes have been remodeled and have improved their values.
I can agree that Short Sales and Foreclosures have reduced values, however, when the Short Sales and Foreclosures decline in inventory, values should appreciate.
  • December 06 2011
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it's just an estimate. Realtors and appraisers will know the true value of your home so dont get to stressed out about it.
  • December 06 2011
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@ Adam Borders

We do not included Foreclosure sales in the zestimate. A sale may be displayed, but not included in the calculation of the zestimate.
  • December 06 2011
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@Vanessa

Zestimates are an estimate of a home value and may be off sometimes. Dont get too stressed about the zestimate.

In my experience zestimates are so badly computed that the home owner deserves the right to opt out in the same way you can opt out the 'phone directory. Zillow has demonstrated so much incompetency in how it collects and processes data to run through a flawed algorithm that they have not earned the right to impose their intrusive valuations on home owners in the way they do so. 

The time has come for regulation of these AVM sites as they cannot be trusted to be fair and equitable. You should write to Spencer Rascoff the ZIllow CEO and tell him what you think about his valuation of your property. Do not let him fob you off with platitudes which seems all that Zillow ever do on here.
  • December 03 2011
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Profile picture for Sharon Lewis
Zillow zestimates are based on public data of near by homes . However if you want to know what your home is worth hire an appraiser or speak with a local Realtor who can work up a comparative market analysis for you as well as discuss what your market is doing currently. Hope that helps. 
  • December 03 2011
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Profile picture for Caveat Emptor
Adam, are you saying that you ignore foreclosure data when you communicate with clients? Bank owned properties are still competing every day for millions of yearly home sales. Also, amazing job predicting the reason for zillow being off. not only do you obviously not need to know how zillow's algorithm works, but you also needed zero information from the seller to predict that it was foreclosures that ruined this man's home values! my my.
  • December 03 2011
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Every sale and listing is used in the Zestimate. Foreclosures and short sales included. So they typically bring the number way down. They are oranges when your home is an apple. Do they compare?
  • December 03 2011
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Profile picture for VanessaCollinss
Zestimates are an estimate of a home vallue and may be off sometimes. Dont get too stressed about the zestimate.
  • December 02 2011
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Vinette,

What's the question? Here is the link to the section within Zillow's site that discusses Zillow's accuracy and values.

There are a lot of homeowners like you who may be frustrated with Zestimates. I did a piece on my NJ real estate blog that explains why zestimates are to be used as merely a snap shop and not a true indication of market value.

Are you in the process of selling? 
  • December 02 2011
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