Can Zillow really tell you how much a home is worth? I’ll go over the trouble with Zillow’s Zestimates today.

 

Can you trust Zillow’s Zestimate?

I have this conversation quite a bit with my mother. She is always looking to buy investment properties, so she’ll give me a call to let me know what the Zestimate is for the house that she’s interested in.

Ultimately, I have to say, “Mom, the house you’re looking at has boards on the windows. The house that it’s compared to is two streets down and a couple blocks over and has brand-new windows. Plus, this house has laminate counters, and other houses in the neighborhood have granite—and that horse tank in the backyard does not count as a swimming pool.”

Once I point out all of these differences, she always asks how the Zestimates come up with a price in the first place.


The truth is that Zestimates are more like guesstimates. A computer pulls information from different properties in the neighborhood that have sold to come up with a value for your property.

“Zillow can be off by as much as 10% to 20% when it comes to home value.”

Unfortunately, these houses may not be comparable to your property. Real estate agents compare apples to apples, meaning we find properties that are comparable to yours in order to determine market value.

Zillow can be off anywhere from 10% to 20% on home value. In the U.S., Zillow is usually closer to 20% off. If you’re talking about a $250,000 house, Zillow could be off by $40,000 or $50,000. That’s a lot of money.

As real estate agents, we can give you a more accurate home valuation. When you have health problems, you don’t want to get a diagnosis from WebMD. You need to go to a specialist to get an accurate valuation of what’s going on in your body.

The same is true for the Zestimate. It just shows you a guess of what’s out there, not exactly what your property will be worth. That’s why you need to talk to a professional real estate agent.

Selling your house is the biggest financial decision you will make in your life. Wouldn’t you want an accurate assessment of what the value will be for your property?

If you have any other questions or would like to know what your home is worth, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!