Financing in Long Beach>Question Details

Laurie Manny,  in Long Beach, CA

What about those Zestimates?

Asked by Laurie Manny, Long Beach, CA Sun May 13, 2007

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Roberta Murphy’s answer
Good question, Laurie! You and I both know that Zillow's Zestimates are often way off base and should not be used in the valuation of a property. In some cases, the valuation is way too high, because overvalued comps are used, and in some cases they are far too low because home improvements, home location and other key factors are not considered. If I were to parachute into a city intending to make a real estate purchase, I would consult with a knowledgeable Realtor such as you, rather than rely on any computer-generated zestimate.
Web Reference:
5 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 13, 2007
Roberta Murp…, Real Estate Pro in Carlsbad, CA
Zillow's valuation method; Zestimates are a starting point. They are rarely accurate but are helpful by tsarting a "conversation" about value.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 14, 2007
Zillow is actually doing all of us fulltime real estate professionals a great favor, because it highlights, underscores, and parenthesizes (is that a word?) all at the same time the value we bring to our clients, whether Seller or Buyer. Algorithms can't replace market experience, and at best it's only slightly better than a novice agent who has no familiarity with their local market. The longer we serve in an area and observe trends and peculiarities and how the market forms segments based on all sorts of factors that often are more a function of societal pressures and interests than sterile statistics, the more value we bring to our clients, who are people and not just another statistic to pump through an equation!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 6, 2007
Zillow is the poster-child for how real estate markets are truly local. It underscores the reality that it will be very difficult to replace the local. full-service real estate brokerage. Friends, real estate is a truly LOCAL business. Pricing a home correctly requires an intimate understanding of the market and the condition of the home and surrounding homes. You can't figure this out on-line and you never will.

Zestimates are truly "guesstimates" and these guesstimates are harming both sellers and buyers.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Zestimates cause confusion in our marketplace. Some are high, some are low. If a buyer can find one Zestimate that comes close to an offering price, they assume that all Zestimates should match all offering prices. What will happen when Zillow opens up for Broker data feeds soon?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
I have a client who is very upset with his valuation at Zillow. I had to point out the mistakes in his listing maybe effecting the valuation. He has now corrected them, so we will have to wait and see if the value changes. Zillow appears to be just a tool, a loose one at that.
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 21, 2007
Zestimates....In our area most of them are off and usually on the hight side. There information is taken from the tax records. They are not specific to the property in comparing like kind and quality. Pretty unreliable.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 11, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
Doesn't sound like a sound way of doing business to me. I agree with Janice. They are actually doing us a favor. We will however, have to go in and clean up some of their messes! Good question Laurie.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 11, 2007
The boys at the Sellsius Blog have a name for this problem. UNZILLOWABLE
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 30, 2007
I'm sure glad it's working properly somewhere... Lucky you! Zillow is causing a lot of confusion in most places.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Zillow needs to get its act together with these Zestimates. They keep saying that the reason they are so far off, so much of the time, is because they are working on their algorithm or there are just not enough comps in the area. Downtown Long Beach is densely populated to the extreme. In one building they have the Zestimates spread out over a $200,000 range for 2 bedroom units. It is just crazy! Their Zestimates are causing harm to sellers because they are so far off.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 28, 2007
Here on the East Coast, what Zestimate is doing is illegal>
Newport RI Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 9, 2013
The online home value models may have a zest to them, but remember, just like any data you get from a reliable source or not, it's subject to errors. There are so many now; Zillow, propertyshark, realestateabc, Homegain, domania, etc. relys on dated public tax info and does a dollar per foot based on sales or size.
Currently, Realtors are using Zillow to upload a current listing and post it's status if sold. Owners are sometimes uploading current size corrections or updating old tax data, that has been changed, to Zillow. I think by now, every knows that Zillow is not very accurate in their estimates, They only way to know where your home's value is at a given time, is to ask your Realtor for an updated market analysis.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2007
You can place any letter first and it will still be as much as 100k off in my Portland market. They have a long way to go...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 11, 2007
thank you! Do you know any brokers who are considering this given Zillow's current state?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Zillow is planning to roll this out very soon. Try this link. If the link fails, search "Gibbons Zillow" on Here's the link.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
Zillow/broker data feeds? Surely, you jest! Not in it's current state of malfunction anyway... Do you actually know any brokers who are considering this? Or is that just a Zillow offering they're trying to push?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Hi There,

Its funny this question came up tonight!! I am having a much better experience than you all. It may be because the community I mostly practice in doesn’t have diverse communities from within, so I'm not having any location issue? I’m not sure, but this is how I understand it to be: Zillow obtains their information on these homes from the public record. Caveat: if a homeowner has made improvements, and there were no building permits pulled, than the public record doesn’t reflect these changes, therefore Zillow would not recognize it either.

I just looked at 2 different, current listings of mine (prior to reading this), to see what the “Zestimates” were. These listings are priced accordingly to my CMA’s. They were as follows (I will notate my current listing price 1st/ Zestimate second) Listing #1 - $349,800/$349,358, Listing #2 - $250,000/$253,247. Additionally, I met with a homeowner on Friday and gave them a price on their home of $375k-$400k. The Zestimate is $389,758. Now I just started seriously playing around with Zillow just a few hours before this was posted, so I haven’t had a chance to completely dive into it, but 3 out of 3 isn’t bad. If I come across anything that doesn’t seem in line, than I will certainly come back to this question.

Melissa Mancini, Realtor, CBR, GRI
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
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