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Richard Arno…, Other/Just Looking in Germantown, TN

Is the Zillow value a reasonable estimate of what one could expect from an appraisal?

Asked by Richard Arnovitz, Germantown, TN Wed Feb 18, 2009

The zillow estimate for our house is $282,000 (which is in line for our neighborhood) but an appraisal came in at $220,000? I can understand some variance but this difference seems unreasonable. I am trying to understand if the appraisal is correct or how I can get it corrected to the real value.

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Richard, The bottom line is the Lender for a buyer does not care what Zillow thinks the property is worth. They do care what the appraisal is.

The question for anyone using zillow estimates should be "How do we get zillow estimates more in line with the actual appraisal number?". Remember zillow just pumped out a number using some formula they created, the appraiser looked at the property, comparables, market activity, price declines, condition of property ect.. If you really feel the appraisal is wrong, then find another appraiser and have a second one done.

Good luck, Dunes
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Hi Richard,
I find that Zillow is not nearly accurate enough. The last check I did of my home had the value at 250k. I wish that were true. I know its not because there are two homes in my neighborhood that are currently under contract, both similar to my home, and both listed around 225k. The best way to find your market value is to have a Realtor do a CMA. It is, in my opinion, the most accurate estimate of market value.

Good luck!
Trey Miller
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Drew, it was pretty cool you responded. Thanks.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
A Zestimate is a starting point, not a replacement for an appraisal or a CMA by a local professional that has been to your home and knows the local market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
I have found that Zillow in our area is not accurate. An appraisal is performed by a certified appraiser who goes through records of previously sold properties with similar characteristics. He/She makes adjustments for quality and amenities/square footage difference or data change due to the market. Another good comparison would be properties that are currently on the market that are in a pending status. If yo are not happy with the appraisal, you could pay for a second appraisal. 9 chances out of 10 the appraisal will come in with less that a 5% variance either way. Individuals who work the area such as REALTORS and appraisers are much more likely to know actual value since they know incentives that were paid, if it is a short sale area or foreclosure hot spot. All these items are taken into consideration and must be noted on the appraisal. A second opinion is always a good option. Remember, it is best to be told what you need to hear and not what you want to hear. Best of luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
Richard, you got someone from zillow to respond! Drew, which do you think he should use as the most accurate estimate for his home? That is basically what's being asked. Should he try and get the value corrected because the zestimate is higher than his appraisal? Zestimate $282,000
Appraisal $220,000

Zestimate or Appraisal?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Drew from Zillow here. You can see zestimate accuracy statistics on a county by county basis at the link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
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