Financing in Tucson>Question Details

Jonny On The…, Home Owner in Tucson, AZ

how accurate is the appraised value on trulia and zillow i bought the property less then a year ago and it says it went up 20 percent is this true?

Asked by Jonny On The Spot, Tucson, AZ Tue Mar 6, 2012

0 votes Share Flag Financing in Tucson

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Johnny,
It would be great if that were true. Very simply explained, an actual appraisal has to identify "like" properties, ideally within 1 mi of the subject property, sold within last 3 months, with similar BR/BA configuration. Then the comparable properties are "adjusted" compared to the subject property (in this case yours) for features. The composite average, weighted,etc. of the comparables forms your "value". It's really an art with a lot of guidelines and requires some skill. The problem with Trulia and Zillow is that they aren't evaluating and interpreting the comparables as to their "likeness" to yours.
For example, if there is a new gated development across the street from an older neighborhood, those homes might form part of the value on a machine, but really wouldn't be "comparable".
You didn't mention why you were looking at value, but a good Realtor should be able to get a pretty good idea of real comparables if you needed them. And I'd be happy to refer someone I think can do a good job on that.
If you're thinking about refinancing, we have an inexpensive desk review if we can't determine if it's close enough. And I'd be happy to help you with that.

If you're just cruising around, enjoy the possibility it might be true. But in general in a good market, typical property appreciation is high at 5%, so the likelihood is slim.
Best wishes, Catherine
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012 "Zestimate" is more like a Guesstimate, about as accurate as a hand grenade. Their own fine print states that their Zestimate value can be off by +/- 20% and to contact a local Realtor for a more accurate value. In the past, the numbers were too high, now it seems like they went too far the other way & some are too low. Sites like Zillow take free, public information like last sold price to determine value. However, there is so much more to it, including location & how about any updates or remodeling inside or out (these sites take none of that into account).
Don’t get me wrong, for a free ballpark value it is ok. Just know it is not considered accurate or up-to-date by those in the RE industry. If you want a more accurate number, a local Realtor can do a CMA (Competitive Market Analysis), look at recent sold comps in your subdivision & etc. Or you can pay for an appraisal but that will cost you about $400.

I have answered this question a lot on boards, many homeowners are worried cause the site says their house is worth considerably less than what they bought it for. I have to wonder if sites like this cause more damage than good. I blogged about it recently on, including the link below.
Best of luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
The estimates online are based on what Counties report on their tax records. NOT all and Many do Not Update or reappraise every year. My County in Pennsylvania only reappraises properties every 30 years . The last one done was in 1998 and it cost the County millions of dollars. It just is not financially possible for Counties to do this every year.

So online values are not worth anything.

My own home does not have the 900sq ft addition- of course I did not let my County know either as my Taxes would go up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2014
Without knowing the property, it could be very well true. Zillow and Trulia are only estimates.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 22, 2013
Zillow is not that accurate. We, as real estate agents, subscribe to a comprehensive database in the area, which is very accurate, and more experienced agents can help with pinpointng value if you wish to sell. Current appreciation rates for the Tucson Metro area are running 1% per month(12% annualized), but can vary from subdivision and area. Why do you ask, are you needing to sell, or refinance?

Thank you!

For a FREE comprehensive home buyer's guide click on

Evan Harris, REALTOR
Over 340 successfully sold properties!
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 20, 2013
Zillow and the other national services use too wide a brush to paint the issue. To get an accurate estimate, again which is just that person's estimate, they need to see the home and use only local information. If you used a Realtor they can give you their opinion by doing a comp survey for you and they would know a lot about your home. If you didn't use a Realtor then you can gire an appraiser for about $250-400. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 7, 2012
Trulia and Zillow are probably never going to give you accurate data. This is largely due to the fact that they are national property search sites and do not have direct links to any particular MLS. The MLS is by far the most accurate database of homes because this is where realtors list their properties. Without access to the MLS system it is very difficult to get up to date information. For this reason I would caution anyone from relying on these national sites. Your best bet is to get with a licensed realtor and have them do a CMA for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
Keep in mind that Zillow has never physically seen your home, nor are they aware of all of the amenities that your home offers. They merely compare it to homes in your area without comparing all that each home has to offer. Utilize the services of a Realtor to provide you with more accurate comps for your home. Zillow currently shows my personal residence as being worth $100k more than the next highest home in my neighborhood although all of the homes are the same age and one is 1000sq. ft. larger than mine. So, take their Zestimate with a grain of salt.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
Hello Jonny On The Spot,
To obtain the most accurate home values it's best to meet with a real estate agent who can discuss a comparative market analysis with the most up-to-date data.
Trulia and Zillow are not as accurate as they are not local nor do they have the capability to compare apples to apples.
I would not base your home's value solely from what you see on these sites but seek out a local agent for a free consultation.

Good luck to you!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 6, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Home > Arizona > Pima County > Tucson > Financing in Tucson > Question
Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer