Rp, Other/Just Looking in Southwest Pensacola,...

Why doesn't Zillow make it clearer to everyone how far off their estimates can be?

Asked by Rp, Southwest Pensacola, Pensacola, FL Fri Jun 12, 2009

Why don't "valuation services" such as Zillow make it clearer to everyone how far off their estimates can be?
In my area, it's laughable how inaccurate they are. I think it does a disservice to everyone involved.

Help the community by answering this question:


There are some jobs that computers can take over, and there are some jobs that they CAN'T!

When we do a CMA, we have many, many numbers that we take into consideration, and some things that cannot be quantified; like CONDITION, and NEIGHBORHOOD.

Also, a CMA, just like an APPRAISAL, will only be accurate for a short period of time.

If this wasn't enough to fill your day; let's look at LISTING PRICES:

Understand that the LISTING PRICE has one primary objective, to attract attention: It is not intended to be set in stone, and in many cases it is not even a good guideline toward the SELLING PRICE.

Some Sellers believe that by setting the LISTING PRICE high, they can always come down, and people will make an offer anyway: WRONG! Buyers will just bypass the property and look at houses that are within their price range. And six months from now, the Seller will slowly start lowering the PRICE, (this is called “chasing the curve”) and Buyers will be asking the question; “What’s wrong with that house?” and “Why has it been on the Market so long?”

Other Sellers set the LISTING PRICE low, to attract multiple offers. (The correct strategy.) We are asked; “Aren’t you obligated to sell at this price if someone offers it?” The answer is probably not; for that to happen, you would first have to have only one offer, and secondly, the offer would have be exactly the same, down to the smallest detail, (please discuss this with your Realtor).
Another thought; Buyer will search for potential properties by groups; for example, $400,000 to $450,000, and $250,000 to $300,000. If your house is priced at $460,000 or $310,000, the Buyers will never see it. (something else to discuss with your Agent.)

Different Banks have different philosophies about pricing their properties: You cannot draw any conclusions without a good analysis.

Have your Realtor do a CMA, (Comparative Market Analysis) to help you determine your Offering Price. It is the surest way to determine the Market Value of the property.

I will not dis others, but I will say that there is no substitue for a good CMA.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 26, 2011
I agree with Gina, and have to addthat I have no idea how Zillow gets their valuations from because, I've personally seen property values fall on properties that have had improvements and I'm still getting zillow home valuation increase figures on my house in Delaware that was demolished in 2008??? Go figure. So, even if I were not a Realtor, I wouldn't place much value on their valuations. It's best to go to your local Real Estate professional and have a home valuation done by them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 26, 2011
I'm delighted that you should ask that question! E-valuation websites use computer generated reports that don't/can't account for condition such as upgrades, waterfront - or the vast difference that can occur from one street to the next. I have not looked, but I'm confident that somewhere in these websites, a legal team states a disclaimer, but on the front end the consumer just see's information portrayed as fact. It's working for them in the traffic generated and advertising dollars spent verses their overheads. - They don't have to pay an army of humans to interpret the computer generated findings and the public is lapping it up! I agree - It does do a disservice, but it would seem the websites are here to stay and the consumer has to be more educated than ever – And, hire a seasoned Realtor who is worth their weight in gold in saving the consumer time and money in navigating the pitfalls & the peaks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 26, 2011
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