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.
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.
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.
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.