Profile picture for presto80

zestimate is stupidest thing

  • May 16 2011 - Fairfax
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Answers (12)

Profile picture for hpvanc
As usual you missed the key point: "unfortunately tax preparation services like the one mentioned are nothing more than salespeople that also provide data entry services."   The tax service you listed is not in anyway professional, has been under constant pressure from the DOJ on the legality of their services (some past services are officially considered usury now), and is one of the primary reasons for legislation requiring some sort of certification for tax preparers (even if it is incredibly minimal). 

Interesting choice, to say the least.  So why would I trust the opinion of agents that have such a low bar for a professional services, over a statistical analysis of data (even when I know the quality of data can be very poor)? 
  • May 18 2011
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hpvanc wrote:
>>>Personally I would trust the Zestimate over a CMA prepared by someone who uses this type tax preparation service. Someone who is capable of doing a fairly complicated return on there own should be able to give a far superior opinion of value. <<<

?????????????????????

Since when real estate agents are obligated to prepare their own tax returns?????

However, since you are so discriminating, I have been preparing *fairly complicated tax returns* by myself for many years now - no complaints from IRS, so I must be doing those tax returns correctly.....

I hope that makes me qualified to offer *a far superior* opinion of value and prepare a CMA - by your own definition.

  • May 18 2011
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Profile picture for hpvanc
H&R Block really? 

If your return is complicated enough to require professional review, you need it reviewed by an actual CPA not a Tax Preparer that took a couple weeks of training and may or may not have some supervision by a CPA.  Note I also said review, in other words it is complicated enough to need to undergo double scrutinization by you and your CPA.  Yes there are bad CPA's but they can be held criminally liable if caught, unfortunately tax preparation services like the one mentioned are nothing more than salespeople that also provide data entry services.

Personally I would trust the Zestimate over a CMA prepared by someone who uses this type tax preparation service.  Someone who is capable of doing a fairly complicated return on there own should be able to give a far superior opinion of value.
  • May 18 2011
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
I never said it was "wrong" to have someone else prepare your tax forms, but only the person paying the taxes is liable for what is on the form, and the person needs to know the tax laws that apply to them regardless, and the math is extremely simple.

And no, I did not vote a thumbs up for any of these posts.

The Zestimates have multiple purposes, and they are not "useless".  But a CMA by someone that misrepresents the market and can't do simple math has very little purpose other than to try to manipulate the market.

Zillow doesn't try to manipulate the market; they try to track it as accurately as their present technology and data access allows them to do.
  • May 18 2011
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Pasadenan,

Nice job on giving yourself a *thumb up* on every single of your replies :-)
Or you have *someone* who made sure that you do get *thumb up* for your replies.....

Back to the topic - real estate is only partially about statistics. Mostly it is about the QUALITY of the real estate property and this is why the market value of the property can be determined only by reviewing the property in person.

Could you explain to me why it is wrong for realtors to have H&R Block prepare their tax returns in order to make sure they are correct???
 
  • May 18 2011
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
Useless?  You've got to be kidding???????

Most Realtors® are not even willing to fill out their own income tax forms, even if they are capable of doing so, so what is really  "useless"???

If you don't understand the math, why are you trying to be so critical of the mathematicians and people that have a valid application for applying statistics?

And remember, it wasn't sites like Zillow that told people that housing prices always go up, and that they aren't building any more land, and that  if you didn't buy you would be priced out for ever, and that if they got an interest only ARM they could always refinance, and convinced people to spend 2 times what a house was really worth to buy it.  Realtors® intentionally and knowingly lied, or they were too ignorant of the market to recognize the blatant signs of a market bubble staring them straight in the face.
  • May 17 2011
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Of course zestimates are useless. Trying to guess the value if a home from a few statistics will always be wrong. The good news is that only stupid people believe the stupid number.
  • May 17 2011
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Presto,

Do NOT worry about zestimates.
Good, experienced, professional real estate agents do not go by zestimates - they do not even consider zestimates in their analysis.

All you need to do is to hire an agent who knows the market and is committed to representing you - unless you know the market and do not need an agent to market a home for you or to help you purchase real estate property.
  • May 16 2011
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
It is not the "accuracy" that "leaves something to be desired" as the math is "accurate"; it is both the tolerance range that could be improved, and the modeling for high end homes, as well as modeling for recently remodeled homes.

Unfortunately, modeling to county record data only will limit some of the improvements desired to the algorithms, but there are a few things that can be done about "known issues".  I believe the statisticians and programmers are working on some of these ideas, but obviously they can't release details to the public.

Another area where Zillow's estimates don't correlate well to present market value is "fixers".  As the county records give no clue as to any "run-down" status and repairs/maintenance needed, I don't see any improvements in the estimating algorithms for these any time in the near future.

So, if we want to be "accurate", it is not the "accuracy" of the Zestimates that people desire to be "improved", but rather the "correlation" to "present market value" that people (including Zillow staff) would like to see improved.  (Which is a moving target and somewhat vague term.)
  • May 16 2011
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Profile picture for Mills Realty
Stupidest might be overreaching, but the accuracy leaves something to be desired.
  • May 16 2011
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
No, the Zestimate can't be the "stupidest" thing as NAR talking points are 1000 times more "stupid".  (And NAR's government lobbying and television commercials are even more "stupid").

Just remember what you think of a Zestimate before you ever accept a CMA from an agent that tries to sell you something by repeating a NAR talking point.
  • May 16 2011
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I certainly wouldn't rely on Zestimates for useful information ... but they are entertaining :-)
  • May 16 2011
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