Home Selling in Jacksonville>Question Details

Fara, Home Seller in Jacksonville, FL

Are the home value estimates on Zillow accurate (or close to accurate)?

Asked by Fara, Jacksonville, FL Mon Feb 2, 2009

I had a house in Jacksonville that I tried to sell and am now renting. The value on Zillow is back up above what my minimum was so I'm wondering if the market is starting to rebound or if Zillow is just off base.

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2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 3, 2009

I’m Jorge Nunez a real estate consultant with EXiT Real Estate Gallery here in Jacksonville Florida. The Market is moving up slowly but surely. When you are ready please feel free to call and I will stop by and prepared a FREE full case study and analysis on your property.

I love Trulia...Trulia is goooood. None of these estimating websites has the abilities needed to capture the internal and structural value based on the general condition of the property. However, Zillow is one of five numbers I use in order to come up with the numbers you are searching for. I assure you that my numbers will be very close to the ones the appraiser will bring to the financing entity.

PS: You still have a house in Jacksonville, is just rented. :~)


Jorge Nuñez

Diversified Real Estate Consultant with EXiT Real Estate Gallery.

Corredor de Bienes Raices

Learn about my Sell Home Faster Programs, 904 -
945 - 2144


2009 and 2010 Five Star Real Estate Professional
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 22, 2010
For the most part I don't think Zillow is that far off. You can look at their estimate for a property and check recently sold ones. For my area they are usually within 5k. Of course some are more and others less but I think it's a decent estimate. A home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it and it changes constantly based on the market and economy. Appraisals in 05,06 and 07 were highly over valued yet they said the home was worth that amount. Home sales have been horrible in most of the country. The economy is adding more part time jobs. This is while the Fed has been printing more money now than it ever has since it started and this is the best the economy has improved. That should tell you something. Homes aren't selling for a reason and if it's sitting on the market for 6-8 months it's probably overpriced as many are. Do your research and don't rely on someone else word.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2014
Zillow and Trulia both have automated valuation models that are wildly inaccurate. Usually to one extreme or the other. They factor in all kinds of irrelevant numbers. Your best bet is to just contact a realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2014
Zillow's real estate valuation estimates remind me of throwing darts or playing horse shoes, sometimes you get a bulls eye or ringer but most often you only come close. Contact a local real estate professional for a market analysis or hire an independent appraiser. Selling your home is a huge lifetime decision so you might as well get the correct information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 19, 2014
Our home had a good estimate on Zillow until a local real estate agent and I had a tiff. After that our home value started falling and has continued to fall. Previously our home which is in the same neighborhood was several thousand in value above his. Since the tiff ours has fallen greatly while his has risen. The real estate board poo pooed my query. So I guess there is nothing we can do about it. Don't argue with a real estate agent!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 17, 2014
All theses Trulia Real Estate Agents are taking jabs at Zillo, but it's not Zillow that has the problem right now, it's Trulia! Perfect Example:

2522 Laine Road, Chapel Hill, NC [$60,000 in upgrades including new 95% efficient furnace, new submersible pump and tank, complete water system including acid neutralization, carbon filtration and UV, $35,000 cherry cabinets in the kitchen and front bath, Lopi Republic (high efficiency wood stove) and Jotul gas stove, as well as 2.5 acres of mostly hardwood trees located on a cul-de-sac off of a scenic highway only a few miles from University Lake, 3.5 miles from Carrboro and 5 miles from UNC and Chapel HIll.]

Realtor.com - $272,673
eepraisal.com - $286,208
Chase.com - $290,000
Zillow.com - $290,540

Trulia.com $262,00
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2013
No, they are not and Zillow admits to it...
They cannot distinguish between a single home to a condo to a townhouse/villa....they consider a refinanced property as a sold property... and the list goes on

With enthusiasm,

Meir Aloni & Team

CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)

CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert)

RECS (Real Estate Cyberspace Society)

Successfully selling Broward County since 1986!

Direct phone# 954-338-5220 http://www.WeSellBroward.com

All Star Realty Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2013
Most values are way off base. The formaulas take into consideration some values and not others. It is only an estimate and usually not realistic unfortanately.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
Trulia is totally wrong! Here's an example:

2522 Laine Road, Chapel Hill, NC [$60,000 in upgrades including new 95% efficient furnace, new submersible pump and tank, complete water system including acid neutralization, carbon filtration and UV, $35,000 cherry cabinets in the kitchen and front bath, Lopi Republic (high efficiency wood stove) and Jotul gas stove, as well as 2.5 acres of mostly hardwood trees located on a cul-de-sac off of a scenic highway only a few miles from University Lake, 3.5 miles from Carrboro and 5 miles from UNC and Chapel HIll.]

Realtor.com - $272,673
eepraisal.com - $286,208
Chase.com - $290,000
Zillow.com - $290,540

Trulia.com $262,00
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
I went to Zillow to find an estimate of my home value. It was low by approximately $150k or 20%. I think the ability of Zillow to work is based on there being other homes in the zip code that have recently sold and are very similar or identical you your own. In my case, I have a contemporary custom that was recently updated and is not similar to any recent sales.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2012
Do not rely on the Zillow estimates. The "range" they use is not very accurate. In your case talk to your local Realtor® and find out if the market has rebounded(sometimes the spring brings some extra sales and that may be temporary).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 17, 2012
I am not sure how Zillow estimates are calculated, but often it seems clients are looking at those numbers and they dont necessarily match with market prices at all! As Realtors estimate the value based on the most recent sales with similar properties, view etc. Zillow doesnt go and actually SEE the property for sale, so I wouldnt count on their estimate..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 17, 2012
My house was estimated on Zillow at about $180,000 when I checked in 2010 and in 2011. The historical graph had it over $200,000 at one point. Now in 2012 it say that it is $115,000 and the historical graph doesn’t show that it was ever even near $180,000. The highest it shows now is 2010 at about $150,000. I find it interesting how all the previous years no longer show the same value that was displayed at the time. I guess it’s ok to just rewrite the historical data so it doesn’t show just how wrong they are.

The market in my town has been relatively unaffected by the poor housing market, yet Zillow fluctuates wildly. It’s basically a joke and I wouldn’t even use it as a reference. I think it estimates low to try to sucker people into thinking that they can get this incredibly low monthly payment on a new house. That’s how the get people to sign up or click on their links which brings Zillow revenue. I feel that it is incredibly dishonest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 15, 2012
Trulia is a joke. How can Trulia value a home at over 1M below fair (current) market value?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 26, 2012
Zillow a bunch of bull. I have updated my kitchen , my bathroom, a new front porch, a new roof, added central a/c and heat and sit on a lot and a half in a prime old neighborhood in Austin, Texas and the Z Estimate continuously goes down instead of up or even remaining where it was. Zillow is a gross deception of the real estate market and should be banned.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 26, 2012
Realtors typically will perform a Comparative Market Analysis .To determine the value of your real estate, the realtor will compare your property to similar properties that have sold recently. Using a complex formula, the realtor will compare various factors to estimate the value of your real estate.

If you are refinancing your mortgage, the bank will require an appraisal of your real estate. The bank will hire an appraiser to estimate the value of your real estate. This will cost a few hundred dollars.

If you want to estimate the value on your own follow this simple process.
What would your home rent for? Let's say it could rent @ $2000
Multiply it by 12x $2000= $24,0000
Use a standard multiplier used in the industry 10
10x 24,000 = home value $240,000
Now remember this is just an estimate
If an investor was to look at your home value@ $240,000 He would analyze for expenses and
subtract the expenses (not the mortgage) Fixed expenses. i.e. taxes, insurance,maintenance
The investors estimation of your house would be less.
He is concerned about the risk

Estimate vacancy ( how long it will take to rent )
As earlier stated this could follow several other steps that are not necessary to go into.
Such as the value of return on your investment.
Debt Analysis
The return on your investment.

It is not a perfect science. Even appraisers that do this daily will argue on value.
Most of these web sites scratch the surface of a business that looks simple yet could get so complicated.
The best answer comes with the truth when an offer comes in and you accept it. If you are a seller you think your value is always more.
If you are a buyer it is always less.
If you are an appraiser you really don't care you work for the bank and you get paid any
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 22, 2010
The only accurate information you will receive via the MLS which all agents use comp value of a home or an appraiser

Any other site is only used a reference source not accurate data WHICH I only wish they would stamp that data on all their website pages.

Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 22, 2010
The simple answer is no...and once again Gabe was right on and entertaining with his answer.

I use homevaluehunt.com to estamate home values when doing refianances for my clients. It does not list a value but does show 7-15 of the most recent sales in the area with several comparison criterea such as: price, price per sq/ft, age, bedrooms, baths, lot size, etc.
Try and find the home(s) that are most like yours and average their value with the most wieght on the most recent sale(s)

Thanks - Keven
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 22, 2010
Are the home value estimates on Zillow accurate (or close to accurate

It is as accurate as determining the time of death by a coroner.
Sometimes the coroner consults with a higher source and finds the answers in cryptic messages with the all powerful Trulia mystics who in their ultimate wisdom have the right answer all the time.
This message was sent by a non resident mystic of the highest order

Consult one near you the results may be different periodically their name will be withheld to protect their identity.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
Zillow simply uses statistical data (zip code of house, square footage, bedrooms, baths, etc...) to make their calcuations. What they cannot know is whether or not a house has been renovated. They can't know if a house is in what's considered to be a very desireable school district. They can't know if the house sits on the corner of a very busy street. They can't know if a house is in a new home community or if it's located in a historical district. So...it's useful for a VERY rough estimate of value but if you want to know the real value of a home, you really need to contact a realtor who specializes in your area. I specialize in the Riverside, Avondale and Ortega areas of Jacksonville. If your home is in one of these areas (or if you have friends in these areas that want to buy or sell) I'd love to have the opportunity to offer my opinion. Please feel free to call me directly at 904-252-5181. Or you can access my website at http://www.ortegaexpert.com that will allow you to see homes that are for sale in all areas of Jacksonville as well as homes that have sold! Hope this helps. Allison
Web Reference: http://www.ortegaexpert.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 20, 2009
Prices on Zillow do not take in consideration adjustments for differences in a community or a house. For instance, I have a listing that they are using homes several blocks off the river as comparables for a riverfront home. We all know that waterfront costs more than non-waterfront. They don't seem to know an urban highrise luxury condo that is within blocks of low income is not low income. Zillow is great in searching, but a market analysis from a realtor would be more accurate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 19, 2009
I've found them to be way off. For my home, it's about 45 thousand dollars. Also, all three schools they list for my home are wrong.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 9, 2009
Fara, I have yet to see a zillow estimate accurate. Not only too high but I've seen several, way, way low also.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 9, 2009
We find zillow to usually be on the high side for value estimates.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 9, 2009
Zillow is usefull for rough estimate only. I would recommend you contact a professional Realtor to get an educated market value opinion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 5, 2009
Wow Jorge...I hope you paid Trulia for that blatant advertising.

I have found, fara, that zillow is more often that not incorrect.
Web Reference: http://www.cindihagley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
Cindi Hagley…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA

I am Jorge Nuñez, Realtor with EXiT Real Estate Gallery here in Jacksonville, FL.

Certainly you are looking for the best product and the best price, yet, to remain within a competitive process that brings you the best available products and services you need to know more than what a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) gives you.

Trulia is great and I love Trulia, it does for me all what was designed to do. However, it takes a little more to come up with a correct price and much more to understand what the property is trully worth.

Always remember that Jacksonville is a fast growing city, therefore, what ever you do, make sure you request a Case Study and Analysis from your Realtor on the property before you commit to a selling or buying contract. This is crucial.

At EXiT Real Estate Gallery we have in house representatives that will, as a team, come up with the correct answers you must have before buying or selling a home. For wise buyers, this is a must.

Before you hire someone else to sell or buy your property, give us an opportunity to meet. Ask us about our Sell Faster 50-G and the 100% Referral Programs and how we make them work for you together with our EXiT 2-10 Home Warranty Programs. You will then understand why EXiT Realty is the fastest growing real estate franchise ever.

Remember, when you sell with me your property is enrolled under our Home Warranty Programs, absolutely free. Call and ask me about the details you will not be disappointed.

For our clients convenience we also speak Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Filipino and Spanish.

Jorge Nuñez, Realtor, RECS

Florida Homebuyer Magazine 2009, Five Star Realtor

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 3, 2009
for a quick generic valuation, zillow is the best available to the public that I'm aware of. No subsitute for an appraisal or realtor CMA however!
Mike Linkenauger
First Coast Realty Associates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
The challenge faced by any offer of valuation not connected to the property is reliability. Zillow uses recently sold homes (and other parameters) to set their values. Think of it as you asking for an appraisal to re=finance your home. Would you accept Zillow's value for that? Probably not.

Many people ask similar questions and usually they are home owners who are thinking of trying to sell their home without professional representation, so they help setting the price. What most sellers like this believe is that once they "get the right price" they can put their home on the market and sell it themselves "saving the costs of commission".

The truth is that selling a property is more like a game of chess. The competition dictates what "value" is for buyers, therefore pricing of homes is subject to change. I had a listing, a property down the street came on the market, so we had to lower our price by 3%, then went into escrow within two weeks. If we had not lowered the price, we would have been left out.

So as you go through the process of figuring out how to price and sell your home, talk with a few REaltors, get their ideas. Trulia says.....

Median Sales Price $130,000 Oct '08 - Dec '08
10,987 Homes For Sale 2 Open Homes
6,366 Recently Sold 3,317 Foreclosures

IMHO you need a great Realtor to make your home stand out and sell for top dollar. That means a professional who knows the market and what buyers want.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
The fhfa.gov site is very interesting. It gave a value of $342,600 based on the change in home prices in Jacksonville - which I would take in a heartbeat! Thanks again for all of the help. You gave me a lot to think about.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
Realquest is just flat out depressing - had the value of the home at $288,000 but it had only 3 bedrooms and 2 bath listed. We actually have 4 bedrooms - but one of them is poorly situated and much better as an office - and 3.5 bathrooms so that estimate is probably a little low too. Still, I don't guess it matters what the estimate is if there are no buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
Unfortunately, we find the site not so accurate. One client insisted on seeing a home listed for sale on Zillow that had closed three years prior. Also, sellers are able to manipulate the zestimate figures on their own home. They do provide good satellite views, if you are looking to check out a neighborhood.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
You might find it fun to use this calculator....http://www.fhfa.gov/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
Just went to Cyberhomes and they had the estimate at $291,357 but they were also off on the square feet by 350. Adjusting that would put me in the range of $349,000 which is probably about right assuming that anyone is buying homes these days. I appreciate the help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009

We find the information taken from the tax records helpful and for the most part reliable.

The Zestimate are not to be relied on. There is not enough attention paid to various neighborhoods and sub communities and often group them inappropriately.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
Thanks. The stats on accuracy are very interesting. It was very discouraging in March when Zillow dropped the Zestimate on our house to $314,500...now it is back up to $383,000 and nothing has changed from my perspective. We sure would like to get out of it since we are still underwater on the mortgage every month but I don't want to put it up for sale and then watch it sit for months again while we have 2 mtg. payments. Tough times.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
Yes. Zillow's values are a complete joke for the most part. Another not-so-well-known site http://www.realquest.com has more accurate values, and if you pay for a subscription, they give you the good stuff. You'd be surprised how much good information is out there---but usually it comes at a premium.
Web Reference: http://www.realquest.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
They are usually way off base. i have seen a $132,000 home(sold at that price) valued at about $332,000 on Zillow. Cyberhomes is a much more accurate source.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
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