Question Details

Natasha, Both Buyer and Seller in Georgia

Zillow gives estimates. Realtors give guestimates.

Asked by Natasha, Georgia Fri Jan 4, 2008

Is the average realtor really better at pricing than a homeowner who studies the comps?

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8
Interesting comment. In my amateur opinion zillow estimates are useless to the point of being almost comical at times. They completely miss the nuances of city neighborhoods and are often rate properties as equal that are in a completely different league from one another (given historical value, proximity to certain institutions, condition, prestige, etc.). Maybe the case is different in newer, more homogeneous neighborhoods. In Chicago, though, it doesn't work. I can give dozens of examples. A local realtor is 100x better.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
Hello Natasha. The information that is used by Zillow to come up with the "zestimate" is not the same as the information that is used by real estate professionals. Zillow uses sales data from public records, which do not show information about property condition, sales concessions (e.g., credits given to the buyer) and the information used by Zillow is usually also several weeks or sometimes even months old by the time it becomes available to Zillow as Zillow depends on how quickly the recorder's office processes transfers of title. Real estate agents, on the other hand, use MLS sold data that are usually very current as MLS require status changes to be entered within 48 - 72 hours and real estate agents have more detailed information on which they can base comparisons and make value adjustments. I hope this helps.
Web Reference: http://www.theMLShub.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
MVP'08
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lol... I just looked up my house on Zillow. It doesn't take into account that I live in a brand-new development and a buyer can buy my exact house. I'd have to substantially lower my price in order to sell - tens of thousands lower than Zillow's estimate.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
Zillow has very distinct limitations. They use comps within a certain "radius" of the property. In my area.. Manhattan Beach CA this means that they could use properties in North Redondo or even Hawthorne.. The difference in price can be off by some very substantial amounts. I checked my house and the valuation is off by almost $200,000 (they are higher then the present value).

If you go one mile west of my home you would get to neighborhoods with ocean views.. the value can be as much as 1 million more for a similar property. So to answer your question.. Zillow is not very accurate in areas that are not part of a large development with similar homes...but they do provide some good information.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
Kaye Thomas, Real Estate Pro in 90266
MVP'08
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Ute is right again. TU...
To add a note, Real Estate Agents do this for a living...daily. Zillow estimates are really a stretch of the imagination in most professionals opinions for the reasons Ute discribed. - Sure, some real estate agents can make a mistake but their data is fresh, acurate and basically the same as a Bank Appraiser would use as part of their analysis... they also use MLS data.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
I think A zestimate is useless. 99% professional in Real Estate will tell you zestimates lacks in what it take to be accurate. Zillow even admits it.
Web Reference: http://zillow.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 9, 2011
This is the funniest thing I have ever heard. A realtors job should be to market the house in a way that attracts the highest offer in the shotest time. Zillows job is to "report" what it knows. And most homes haven't changed hands in years so the data is errored. Neither Zillow or Realtors are experts at everything. Zillow is just not accurate yet. it will be, someday, after they have gathered enough updated data. Realtors, most of them are average.

The reality is there are two reasons to buy - #1 is pain (i need a house for whatever reason) or #2 EGO. (I want "that" house) Which buyer do you think pays the premium price.

#1 rule of pricing - you house's value is worth what someone is willing to pay. Sometimes that is more, and sometimes that is less. We use "comps" to give us a basic understanding of what others are paying but that is certainly no guide.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
Read the similar question and posting under questions generated out of Minnesota....there is some great info.
Web Reference: http://www.toddnorsted.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
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