Home Selling in Crestview>Question Details

Christopher…, Home Seller in Crestview, FL

Why is there such a difference between your value of a house and Zillow's?

Asked by Christopher Rowe, Crestview, FL Mon Sep 9, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


As a seller you will think your house is worth more, and as a buyer you like the idea that Zillow says the house is worth less. Your local Realtors know the difference. Sometimes relying on numbers from Zillow is like depending on a real estate agent from Miami to price a property in NWFL. Neither are familiar with this area. And remember no one at Zillow has a license to practice real estate. They crunch numbers from for example all of 32536 to determine value. Well the homes on Antioch have not the same values as those in Liberty Oaks for example. But both are in the same zip code and those numbers crunched. The properties on Wilson may be valued at $80k and 3 miles away are at $280k. A local realtor can make that distinction. If you owned a property at the higher end, you would be absolutely offended if someone told you your home might be compared with " that other property" according to Zillow. Now to be fair to Zillow, sometimes they do get it right. I

I recently closed on a property where I told an out of state buyer that the area they were buying in was going up in value. They said buy Zillow said it was going down in value. The week after they closed, they called and said, Zillow has just reported that the property was projected to be going up in value.

Just like a local Realtor knows that there are short sales on the street that are affecting value, Zillow cannot make that distinction.

I know this was a pretty lengthy explanation Chris, but it was actually a very good question. Thanks for asking, and giving me the opportunity to explain as I'm asked that question very often.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 9, 2013
I agree with the other agents that local agents have a better understanding of our local market than sites such as Zillow and Trulia; however, another thing to consider is this....If you are talking about the "value of the house" being the asking price, that may or may not be the actual value of the house. Many sellers want to "test the waters", or "have some room to negotiate", or they may not agree with their agents suggested market value. Often times Realtors will allow them to price the house at a price that does not reflect it's actual value and is significantly higher, in hopes that when they don't get showings or offers, they will reconsider and lower their price. Sometimes they don't have enough equity in the home to sell for its actual value, so they hope a cash buyer will come along and purchase it without an appraisal. Most of us don't like to do that, and I think we all have limits on how high we will allow them to go before we refuse the listing, but I would image it's happened to all of us at one time or another. Ask for a market analysis if you think the home is over-priced.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 9, 2013
If the market value of homes had not changed up or down in the past 6 months, the estimate of value that online sources provide would be more accurate - To be best informed, you should consult with a Realtor® in your area.

Same reasoning behind why you wouldn't let a auto mechanic perform open heart surgery... Realtors® are experts in their field.

I recommend contacting several in your area and see what you hear from them. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 9, 2013
Christopher this is such a great question! As a local Real Estate Broker I can tell you that Zillow can only sees the public information that is posted. Pulic information is not always accurate nor will Zillow will not know what the home owner has done in upgrades. unless it was something such as a pool where a permit was pulled. The home could have top end appliances, marble or granite countertops intead of formica, and custom wood work. Inside home finishes are the most expensive to do. We as Realtors always have to look at the amenities, condition, and everything a home has to offer when giving a value.

Grace Ruud-Papadopoulos, Broker
850 902-1861
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 9, 2013
To really understand these values you really, really, really, really would be well advised to meet up with your real estate professional as a few home values are determined on a 'not seen' basis.
Those who are serious will follow those instructions and VALUE what they have discovered. Those who are not serious willl solicate opinions from strangers on the internet.
For those who are serious about making a real estate decision should understand, Trulia and Zillow are suitable for entertainment purposes only. One can get more reliable information by looking up their fate on their favorite horoscope resource.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 9, 2013
Well, don't discredit the sites completely... they still provide useful sold prices, along with ton of other quite valuable information and trends. While it definitely makes sense to work with an agent, someone not too lazy, who does not delegate all of the thinking to another person, can definitely do lots of useful research on these sites. Maybe Zillow estimates are off, but do not say that horoscope is better than these sites in order to steer people to rely solely on agents...
Flag Tue Jan 14, 2014
Both trulia and Zillow are automated services that do not adjust the values for any "outliers". You really need a professional who is familiar with the market to adjust the date, excluding properties that really do not fit in the profile until examined closely. We typically look for for homes as comps that match age, size, distance requirements as a start. Sales within the last 6 months are considered. If we can't find enough properties within these constraints we search further and the adjust. Trulia and Zillow don't do this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 9, 2013
Valuations are based on opinions. Your opinion can be radically different than anybody else's. Ultimately, it's the market price that matters.

One of the main reasons why Zillow's values are almost always off is that it uses historical numbers from 3-6 months ago.
Web Reference: http://www.archershomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 9, 2013
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