Zillow’s Zestimates Imprecise

February 11, 2015

Zillow's Zestimates

Ask any real estate agent what they think of Zillow’s Zestimates and you just may get an ear full of expletive’s.  Since coming on the scene, Zillow has tormented many an agents ability to convince a buyer or seller of the “true” value of a home. Leaving a transaction dead in the water or listings falling into the hands of an over eager and/or desperate agent willing to take a listing at any price.   In the mean time, the seller spends months keeping their home show ready for the “buyer” who would pay the Zestimate value.  While at the same time the listing agent is hammering for a price reduction, because of no showings of the home.  In the end the losers in this scenario are both seller and agent, not Zillow.

Spencer Rascoff Zillow

I had the opportunity several years ago to hear soft spoken CEO Spencer Rascoff speak about his Zillow Zestimates.  At that time Rascoff stated the same thing that we saw in the February 8 article in the  LA Times.  Zestimates were inaccurate and they were a good starting point to a price conversation.  While Zestimates are a convenient way for a seller to get an “idea” on the value of their home, nothing can replace a real estate professional’s two eyes on the product.  What Zillow’s algorithms don’t take into a account are the things that only an agent can see.  Is the interior of the home dated?  Are their major issues such as mold or cracked slabs?  Are high voltage power lines near the home?  Does the home sit on a busy street or next to a freeway?  Were there significant upgrades to the home?  Were there enough sales in the neighborhood to get an accurate estimation of  value?   What about neighborhoods like La Mesa’s, Mt. Helix or Del Mar’s 92014 where the homes aren’t cookie cutter?  As much as we would like to find everything that we need via the internet, there is no way a Zestimate can take in all of the variables that goes into estimating the true value of a home.  A seasoned well qualified agent is the best bet in giving the closest estimate of what they feel the market value is of a home.  Ultimately, in the end, what a buyer is willing to pay for home is who determines the value, not an agent, sometimes not even a appraiser and most certainly not a Zillow’s Zestimate.

If you would like to find out the “true” value of your home.  Give me a call.  I am happy to help.



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