Home Buying in 91030>Question Details

Lc, Home Buyer in 91030

Can we trust zillow estimates? I checked 5 prospective homes and 4 out of the 5 were close to asking price.

Asked by Lc, 91030 Thu Mar 12, 2009

The 5th one however, was, zillow estimated at about 50K less than asking price. Other townhomes in the complex were valued even lower. What gives?

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Zillow is notorious for using comparison homes that are not appropriate. This skews the final numbers. Their approach is to throw in as many comps as possible in an attempt to even the numbers out but the fact remains that they regularly use comps that are not good comparisons.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 13, 2009
No, it's an "estimate" not an actual analysis. While online estimates do try their best to be as accurate as possible the truth is no one at Zillow, or Trulia, or any of the other sites that offer these estimates of value are Realtors or Appraisers and none has seen any of these properties.In my area Zillow claims to be within 10% of the actual market value 80% of the time. So on a $250,000 they could be within $25,000 80% of the time and the other 20% they miss by more than this. The only way you're ever going to get a real sense of true market value is to use either a local appraiser or Realtor.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 22, 2014

Don't trust Zillow. From my experience the values tend to be low. Talk to a realtor for true values.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 13, 2009
I agree. Zillow estimates are not always accurate. They should not be used solely to help you make a decision as to the value of a property. If you are considering purchasing property, and want to see if the asking price is fair/reasonable your Realtor should be able to provide you with better information based off of comparable properties in your area. This is known as a comparative market analysis, or "CMA." It is not the same as an appraisal, however.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 13, 2009
Zillow is a great tool to get a "ballpark" estimate on your home if your are just curious, but if you are serious about selling or refinancing, it is always best to get the expert opinion of a real estate professional who will use relevant comparables to come to an accurate valuation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 6, 2014
"Roll the dice"

The problem with Zillow or any other computerized evaluation tool is that they use a set geographical area when identifying their comparison properties. The reality of this is that there can be various sub-communities that are within the same vicinity but not of equal quality.

So, users of these programs would benefit from having a basic appreciation for what is and is not a good comparison property and use this information to generate their own value numbers.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 22, 2014
I would not trust Zillow estimates. From my experience they are not up to date. They are anywhere from 3-6 months behind the actual Real Estate Market. In an up market this can be a huge problem for seller's. You will end up pricing your house below the market average and end up selling your house for far less then what it's worth. It's best to speak with a trusted Real Estate specialist who can accurately price your property and net you the most amount of money with the least amount of hassle.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 22, 2014
This is only one indicator to help you determine value. The best results are recently closed similar homes. The sales price represents what buyers are paying. List prices only represent what a seller would like to sell for. Contact a real estate professional in your area for the most accurate information.

All the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 31, 2013
When I had my house appraised for my refi Zillow was $104,000 LESS than the appraised value....I wouldn't trust them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 31, 2013
Trust Zillow for what it has to offer. Buyers and sellers should take advantage of open houses if they are not working with a realtor. You must compare the properties in the area of interest with comparables to the condition, upgrades, location and other criteria to arrive at the fair market value. On-line statitstics have been generated purely by the collection of data. People don't buy based on numbers. They buy based on emotion and fair market value for the specific property being considered. Take the on-line estimators for what they are supposed to offer. General analysis. And then, when you find a few that you believe meet your criteria go preview them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 13, 2009
What choice do you have? Either Zillow or contacting an agent for a CMA? Yes, Zillow might be unreliable, it might be inaccurate, it might be high...or low, but sometimes you have to use some smarts and rely on your best judgement.

Right. Because we all know a buyer or seller doesn't need to actually see the inside of homes or study their values every day in order to make an estimate of what a particular home is worth. That's why one buyer I had insisted the houses he was looking at were worth SO much less than they were asking, and his lowballs were outright rejected by every owner and sold for up to 100,000 more than his offers. And still has not successfully bid. That's also why the FSBO down the street from me has been for sale 4 years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 13, 2009
As much as you can trust any computer generated estimator. I don't believe there is anything better than a is first hand appraisal. But Zillow and Trulia both provide excellent statistical information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 13, 2009
No, you can't trust zillow's zestimates unless you feel +/- 20% is good enough. Although now and then zillow will get it right too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 12, 2009
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