BOA versus Zillow

Asked by Robert, Belmont, CA Wed Jan 19, 2011

Zillow shows my home at $820K. BOA's site shows mid range of $949K (in range for a desperately needed re-fi). Any ideas if BOA's site is any more/less accurate than Zillow?

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25
Mary Jo Quay, , Minneapolis, MN
Wed Jan 19, 2011
Lisa is right. Zillow zestimates, they harvest information from tax records. Every county has a policy on how they assess properties. If a home has the same owner for 20 years, it is at a lower rate than a home that has been sold three times in the past ten. If a city has a recent bond program, it will be reflected in property taxes.

You can ask an agent to do an thorough market analysis. We are seeing three levels in the market: foreclosed, short sale, and traditional. The number of foreclosure in an area affects the values because it creates competition between a traditional seller and a highly discounted property.
Appraisal guidelines require that comparable homes be within a mile, and sold in the past 90 days. This may not give you the numbers you are hoping for.
2 votes
The Laugesen…, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Thu Jan 20, 2011
Dear Robert
I understand your concern and frustration with these sites...They are not active, they take a group of current homes sales in Belmont and come up with a sales price....

To get a better understanding, talk to a real estate agent and ask for a market analysis and let her or him know your plans or hire an independent appraisal, but remember when you go through the loan process, they will order an appraisal on your property. Appraisers are conservative with their values still. There is current documentation through California Realtors Association that shows San Mateo County homes sales have improved and values have increased...

Let me know if I can help you..

Respectfully,
Denise Laugesen
Coldwell Banker
International's President's Elite
North San Mateo Office
650-465-5742 cell
650-403-6225 direct line
deniselaugesen@comcast.net
Http://www.deniselaugesenteam.com
1 vote
Ben Fox, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Washington, DC
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Have your lender pull a "value finder". Certainly not the most accurate but it will give you a range to see if you are in the ball park without costing you 400 dollars.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Neither would be accurate ... these are only postings ONLY true values are taken direct from MLS used by all Realtors and appraisals
0 votes
Robin Silver…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Garden City, NY
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Robert, I will admit that I did not read all 22 replies, however in the last few there was a suggest that you hire your own appraiser. This is just a waste of your money as any lender will need an appraisal ordered through an appraisal management company, and whatever it comes in at is the value that they will use. An actual appraisal, however, is the only accurate way of determining value. This, however, does not mean that if 2 appraisers go out, they will come up with exactly the same value. Much of what goes into an appraisal is a bit subjective.
0 votes
Kolsky Realty, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Your true real value of your home won't be effected by any website. It's only to see a fast idea of what it might be worth.

All the best.
0 votes
Heather Paul, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Thu Jan 27, 2011
I would be careful with writing too much into either of these sites, zillow is known for being quite off on their valuation, here is another place you could try that I think is much more reliable for home values
http://instanthomelink.com/homevalues

Have a great day,
Heather Paul
Coldwell Banker
(424)625-1037
Web Reference:  http://www.heatherpaul.net
0 votes
Akil Walker, Agent, Upper Marlboro, MD
Mon Jan 24, 2011
Hello Robert,

Both are estimations of value. I would suggest you hire an appraiser or contact a local realtor to provide you with some local comparables of recent sales. If you have a loan officer at BOA or elsewhere, they should be able to run some #'s for you to see where you stand.

Best of luck
0 votes
Rudy McDowell, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Mon Jan 24, 2011
Hi, RObert

You will not know the actual value of your home until you do an actual appraisal. Until then, its all speculation.
0 votes
Gerard Carney, Agent, Spring Hill, FL
Mon Jan 24, 2011
Both are very inaccurate, they only base price on properties on their sites, they do not have complete sales information and listing information at their disposal, soo the difference in the prices are because of the differences in the inventory they show on their sites.
0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Mon Jan 24, 2011
Are you trying to refinance through B of A? As you have read, automatic valuation is not reliable. Do contact a reputable local Realtor who will be happy to give you an idea of what they believe you bank may state the value for a refi. Realtors do not do appraisals, but market value.
Web Reference:  http://terrivellios.com
0 votes
Spirit Messi…, Agent, Tucson, AZ
Sun Jan 23, 2011
Zillow eve states their "estimate" can be off +\- 20% & encourage you to see a local Realtor for accurate comps. Both sites are giving you a ballpark. Bottom-line neither matter when you defiance, only an appraisal matters & it must be ordered by your lender. Whatever that comes back at, that is the value the lender will use for re-financing purposes. Same thing when someone buys, it is the appraisal value that matters the most.

Talk with any good lender & they will tell you the same thing. Good luck.
Spirit Messingham
Tierra Antigua Realty
Tucson, Az
0 votes
Rudi Hofmann, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, El Segundo, CA
Sun Jan 23, 2011
I''m on Zillow a lot. I hear this all the time. Either site can be right on, or way off in either direction. For my clients I pull Data Quick Comps and view recent properties like yours in the MLS to determine what I think the appraised value will come in at.

Happy funding, Rudi
Web Reference:  http://www.umboc.com
0 votes
Gilbert Rich…, , Santa Clara County, CA
Thu Jan 20, 2011
Have your realtor or loan officer look up comps. Neither webistes take into consideration the nuances in the market that can affect your value.

Anytime I do a loan I always pull up real comps within a specific area and neighborhood for my clients that gives me a better estimate value wise. If I am still not clear I call an appraiser in the area who can tell me for sure.
0 votes
Somjai Mahag…, , Belmont, CA
Thu Jan 20, 2011
Hi Robert,

Most homes in your area are probably very unique. No computer programs will take that into consideration. I suggest you work with a local agent that has a good relationship with lenders. He or she can help you with your home value and work with the lender to get you refi.
Best of luck.

Somjai Mahaguna
Hometown Realty
0 votes
Douglas Katz, , Chicago, IL
Thu Jan 20, 2011
The problem is accurate is in the eye of the beholder. There is some degree of subjectivity to all valuation. Lenders, as an example, look at things differently than a realtor doing a CMA. Two lenders can even differ in their evaluation of market value. I think this really depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the valuation. After you dtermine this consult a lender, realtor, etc. to get their advice and counsel.
Web Reference:  http://www.loanorama.com
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Thu Jan 20, 2011
Hi, Unfortunately Zillow is a bit messy. There are alot of complaints that the information isn't accurate and one of the reasons is that they don't take into consideration condition of home automatically. This information would have to be manually inputted into the system. So basically they just take whatever has sold in the area and go from there. BOA site may be more accurate if they have a past appraisal on hand they may just freshen up some of the info. Alot of the banks are keeping a database of appraisal reports which hurts the appraisers because they arent needed as much. I would check with the bank and if they go ahead with a refi they will send out an appraiser anyway.

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
914.406.9023
0 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Thu Jan 20, 2011
Honestly neither site is worth considering when it comes to an appraisal value. They have never seen the property, know absolutely nothing about it and all of their numbers are generated based on tax records. There are no free online real estate sites that can give you a valuation that's worth anything more than your horoscope in the newspaper. It's interesting information, good for cocktail talk and other than that you forget about it.

If you are buying the home it will be appraised. If you are thinking of buying the home your buyer broker should be able to help you with the valuation but ultimately it will be appraised.

If you won the home and are looking to refinance, the bank will appraise it.

Do yourself a huge favor, stop wasting time looking online for the properties valuation, trust me there's little you can glean of any real value with these computer generated valuations. You need to work with an appraiser for financing purposes who will visit the property, measure it, look at the condition inside and out and then compare it to similar properties within a mile or two of the subject property that have sold within the past 3-6 months and will prepare an accurate valuation.

Good Luck.
0 votes
Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Thu Jan 20, 2011
You may want to consider contacting a realtor and asking for a complimentary comparative market analysis. Even if you are only refinancing most realtors will be happy to assist you. People think they can only call realtors when they are buying or selling, but really we should be considered a trusted resource at all times. We call that "paying it forward". A realtor can help you understand the most current market range for your home.
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Jan 20, 2011
Hi Robert, the following link will provide insight into the relative accuracy of property valuations from Zillow (and other Automated Valuation Methods), Realtor® CMAs, and Appraisers: http://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Selling/I_am_executor_to_a…

Best, Steve
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Jan 19, 2011
Robert, Zillow tells you on their website how accurate they are for every market. For example, in Seattle, half of their Zestimates(tm) are accurate within 9% - half of $500,000 properties will have a Zestimate(tm) showing the "value" between $455,000 and $545,000, and half won't.

BOA should have a similar disclaimer.

All the best,
0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Wed Jan 19, 2011
Robert,
No automated valuation is reliable. There are various refi programs available which may not be as dependant on an appraisal if you are doing a rate & term refinance. If you are trying to get cash out, you'll need a full appraisal to guarantee the value you will need. Talk to a local lender about your options. As a mortgage broker I have usually beat the rates at BoA, so find a local mortgage broker and see what they can offer. Best of luck.
0 votes
Julie Rice T…, , San Mateo, CA
Wed Jan 19, 2011
Robert,
In addition to the other comments, it is worth noting that the automated value models, like zillow, do not take into account home improvements, views and other intangibles that affect value. For example, if you have done some recent improvements to your home and recent sales in your area have not, then that stands to bump up your value. I would be happy to check another source or two for you, and we should be able to determine it is is worth you ordering an appraisal, which is the only way to know for sure what current market value of your home is.

If you are interested in exploring your refi options further, let me know. My office is just one city over from you. Warm Regards,
Julie Thall
jthall@opesadvisors.com
0 votes
Talisa Raffe…, Agent, Hamilton, MA
Wed Jan 19, 2011
Hi Robert,
Zillow provides "zestimates" which are really basic estimates that can be off by 20%. The best way to see what your home is worth would be to ask an agent. The selling price for your home is really determined more by the market so it can change from month to month depending on what your local homes are selling for. Your bank may do an appraisal in order to determine the fair market value of your home. You can use Zillow to look at the selling prices of homes in your neighborhood, and that will help you get a better idea of the numbers.
Best of luck to you.
0 votes
Lisa Branden…, Agent, Florence, KY
Wed Jan 19, 2011
only a true appraisal will tell you the current value of your home- call a local lender and see what they have to say- most of the online property values seem to be off by as much as up to 20% here in KY- hope this helps!
0 votes
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