Friends and Clients—
When you go to Zillow, you are able to get something called a Zestimate, which gives you the value of your home. Can you trust those Zestimates?
Unfortunately, no. Most of the time, Zestimates are not very accurate.
According to Zillow’s website, a Zestimate is a starting point in determining a home’s value. It is not an appraisal. As I like to say, if it was, it would be called a Zappraisal. The Zestimate is based on public and user-submitted data.
Public data is usually fairly accurate, as it includes information about the square footage of your home. The problem is that Zestimates rely on user-submitted data.
If you are a homeowner who wants to sell your house and you know that people are going to Zillow to see what your home is worth, wouldn’t it benefit you to go to Zillow and add some home improvements to your property? There are some agents out there who actually help people increase their Zestimates to make it seem like their home is worth more than it is. In short, Zestimates can be tweaked and manipulated.
Zillow goes on to say that they encourage homeowners to supplement the Zestimate by speaking with a real estate agent and getting a comparative market analysis or getting an appraiser to visit the house. After all, Zillow has never been to your house; that Zestimate has no idea how your home stacks up against others in the area.
If you live in a major metropolitan area where there are a lot of homes for Zillow to pull from, then your Zestimate might be more accurate. If you live in a rural area without a lot of data or if you live in an area with a variety of unique homes, then that Zestimate can be a long way off.
Zillow even admits that more than three-quarters of the homes in San Diego County have Zestimates that are off by 10% or more. That means if you have a $700,000 house and your Zestimate is off by at least 10%, then your Zestimate is either $70,000 too high or too low.
Ultimately, Zillow is kind of like WebMD; if you are curious about a health condition, then you can look up some data on WebMD. If you are seriously concerned about your health, you will go to the doctor. You won’t trust your health to information from WebMD. Why trust the value of your house to some website?
In order to know what your home is worth in the current market, you need to contact an agent about the value of your home. In fact, I invite you to look up your Zestimate and send it to me. I will then compare your property to recently sold homes in your area and we’ll see how accurate Zillow actually is.
If you are interested, let me know. If I get enough Zestimates from you, I’ll cover them in our next video so that you can see exactly how accurate Zillow is about our area.
Of course, if you have any other questions, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you.
And if you have questions about your home's worth or need help buying or selling a home, give me a call at 703-328-3434. I'm here to help.