Though we think Zillow can be a useful tool when searching for Real Estate, there are many downfalls when it comes to sites that rely on computer programs to give values on something.  Zestimates can be a good starting point for figuring out what a home is worth, but there are many factors that the computer program can not compute.  The article below explains the pitfalls when relying on Zillow for an estimate of a home.

 

Online valuation tools are not accurate. There I said it. Unfortunately so many consumers have no idea that valuation tools found online are completely inaccurate for determining a homes value. This fact is compounded further when unsuspecting consumers log onto a site, like what they see and it validates their belief. One of the greatest offenders and most well known is Zillow.

Zillow has what they call a “Zestimate” of value. You can visit Zillow and they will give you the market value of your home regardless of whether it is listed for sale or not. Lots of people visit Zillow everyday just for the opportunity to see what theor home is worth. One of the questions real estate agents get all the time is are Zillow Zestimates accurate? The answer is a resounding NO! Without a doubt, Zillow has a fantastic site for looking at homes listed for sale. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say they are one of the best. When it comes to accurately predicting the market value of a home they fail miserably.

When selling a home it is quite common for owners to meet and interview a real estate agent. The purpose of course is to make sure they agent hired is going to do a fantastic job. One of the most important elements that will be discussed is the right listing price for the home. Real Estate agents understand that pricing a home correctly is the number one consideration for getting it sold. The message to a perspective seller about price should be made very clear on multiple occasions throughout the interview process.

When sellers find out the value of their home is really not what Zillow says it is there are a lot of emotions that go with it. It is not uncommon for a seller to feel like they are in the Twilight Zone. It is not surprising because Zillow is a large corporation that many people have come to know and trust. How could they possibly get the value of a home wrong? Why on earth would a company like Zillow publish information that is not accurate?

Many real estate agents ask themselves this very question everyday. The Zillow Zestimate of value puts a lot of Realtors in a very uncomfortable position of having to justify their list price. The common thing an agent will hear is “what do you mean my home is only worth X amount? Zillow says my home is worth a lot more!” Zillow has become the bane of real estate agents around the country due to their estimation tool.

What consumers need to understand is that Zillow does not visit your home. Zillow does not know you just spent $60,000 remodeling your kitchens and baths. Zillow does not know that your lot is better than all the other homes in the area that just sold. Zillow does not know that your neighborhood is superior to the one a mile down the road. Zillow does not know a lot of things that your real estate agent does.

In the article above, you are going to see an exceptionally detailed reasoning on why a Zillow Zestimate of value should never be a consideration for actual market value. You really have better odds of seeing Big Foot than an accurate Zillow value. Having been in the real estate business for the past thirty years, I have seen Zillow estimates off by as much as $150,000! Can you imagine see the value of your home and then meeting with an agent only to discover your home is really worth $150,000 less? It is not a fun exercise.

Zillow by the way is not always off by a higher amount. I have seen plenty of homes where Zillow says the home is worth a lot less than it actually is. If you read the fine print on Zillow’s site you will see that they can be off by a significant margin. It begs the question why Zillow even wants to have a home valuation tool that is so incredibly distrustful.

If you are going to be selling your home do yourself a favor and hire an appraiser or a local real estate agent you know is good at pricing homes. The price you set for your home is the most important consideration for getting it sold. Lots of people learn the hard way when they don’t price their home properly.