inna ivchenko, Real Estate Pro in Calabasas, CA

Why would one rely on '' Zestimate''?

Asked by inna ivchenko, Calabasas, CA Thu Jul 5, 2012

How accurate is Zillow Zestimate?
Not much probably...
Hate it or like it, trust it or not, Zestimate is still very popular among homeowners and home buyers . Realtors would not suggest relying on it as a true estimate....., why it is that popular..?

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13
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Thu Jul 5, 2012
BEST ANSWER
Numbers present themselves to be more factual than chanting "Buy Now."
Any number presented to those who are not intimate with the industry, creates a confidence of knowing 'something.' From the genesis of 'something' real knowledge, they trust, may grow.

The same citizens will associate the Tax Assessors numbers as another point of FACT. Because "ALL" such numbers are wrapped in word everyone knows, "value" They tend to believe the number has some correlation to value. They are unaware, none of these organizations are using the same lexicon.

Now they have two value data points. The unknowing consumer, believes they are doing research, since the common thread is value and it's synonyms. Then, they really get excited with their efforts when the encounter a precise number. You know the precise number I refer to, the exact midpoint of the value range. People instinctively trust precise numbers. They are however, completely fictitious.

Of course we know they are all fake. Any correlation to these random number generators and real value are solely accidental.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to extend public education regarding the 'entertainment' quality of these websites. Many real estate agents invest HEAVILY in Zillow and are hesitant to expose the flagrant abuse of public trust Zillow demonstrates on a hourly basis. By your very presence on such a site, by your active participation, AND SILENCE, you defend such behavior. Some on this thread have actually been acknowledged by the CEO of Zillow as a significant contributor to the 'Quality' of Zillow. This recognition was preceded by a plea, after dunes and his crew received props, of 'What about me?" Some appear to be too enmeshed in the darkness to find their way into the light..

So, we can choose to 'tune into it' and be a practicing, active participant in what is clear abhorrent behavior. Abhorrent behavior, as recent history has thought us, presents a feeble deterrent for most real estate professionals. And this will, according to some, build your credibility!!

We have all been witnesses of the consequences Bill suffered when the message exposing Zillow transgressions were made public on Zillow. A thundering herd of mad dogs attacked him here on Trulia. Such subversive action is reflective of the very nature of the organization.

Aggregate websites are for entertainment purposes. Lacking that advisory, participating agents words give creditably. Agents have the opportunity to choose whom they serve with every keystroke. There is no dodging the reality where one stands in the midst of such transgressions against the consumer. These too, should put that Bank of America logo on their advertising. Apparently the smoldering ruins left in that banks wake was someone else's fault. Leaves one to wonder why do some agents ask "Why are agents regarded so lowly in the eyes of the consumer?"

For what will you sell your credibility?
1 vote
J Cruz Insur…, Home Owner, California
Tue Jul 10, 2012
Zestimate is the starting point in determining a home's value, calculated from public and user submitted data. Real estate agents take into account the location, special features and market conditions of the home. but you need to get a comparative market analysis from a real estate agent as well, in addition to getting an appraisal from a professional appraiser.
1 vote
Claudia Mull…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Fremont, CA
Tue Jul 10, 2012
Zestimate works well when I, as a lender, need a quick idea of what a property may come in at on appraisal.
Rely would not be anywhere close to what I would say Zestimates are considered.
More like a large bulls eye target!
1 vote
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Thu Jul 5, 2012
Quite simply because the average buyer/seller doesen't have a clue about Zillow's credibility and/or information and knowledge. They're just reaching out to we RE professionals for advice. It's up to us to provide them with realistic data.
1 vote
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jul 5, 2012
You don't. It's a statistical guideline...a starting point. I couldn't tell you why it's so popular...no, Realtors are not going to rely on it. We have to remember however, that Zillow is a consumer sight, not a Realtor site.

That said, I do find that consumers often mistake the 'zestimate' as an absolute number and rely on it while Realtors know that we have to do an in-person assessment of the home and comp it properly.

In this information age, information is popular...is it often misused? Yes...Zillow is not my first choice website but I can't anything about it's popularity.

It's our job to educate consumers one at a time!!
1 vote
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Thu Jul 5, 2012
Not my favorite thing to talk about..... always a certain percentage of people that believe in this or will drink the Kool Aid!
1 vote
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Thu Jul 5, 2012
oops - meant to say "tune into it", essentailly, any data point that the pubilc has access to will come up in converation. Ignoring it or dismissing it is not the answer - rather, be aware and conversant. At a minimum, it will build your own credibility.

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
1 vote
Darrell D. D…, Agent, Schertz, TX
Thu Jul 5, 2012
The General Public does not have the MLS and therefore they only have the free resources that are available on the Internet to utilize unless they contact a real estate agent. The problem is that when these values are exaggerated, it becomes difficult to get a client to understand the number is wrong.

These values that the general public can obtain are AVM's (automated valuation model appraisals). As defined by Fannie Mae, "AVMs are statistically-based computer programs that use real estate information such as comparable sales, property characteristics, tax assessments, and price trends to provide an estimate of value for a specific property."

That being said, they are sometimes completely incorrect when tapping into adjacent homes in areas where there is a good mix of lower end properties next to higher end properties or in rural areas. Even within a subdivision, they can be incorrect if the public data is incorrect or does not include new additions, an added pool, etc.

In my mind, they are a guide and nothing more...
1 vote
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Thu Jul 5, 2012
I agree with Phil - and while it may be accurate as often as it is not, Realtors are wise to be turn in to it. Consumers tap all public sources of infor and this is one that while you may not embrace, you cannot ignor.

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
1 vote
Phil Rotondo, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Thu Jul 5, 2012
I don't think citizens rely on it; but they look.
Probably because it's free, quick, and they don't have to call a Realtor to get a ballpark figure.
1 vote
Gregorio Den…, , San Diego, CA
Thu Jul 5, 2012
"why it is that popular..?"

Probably because people keep posting about it; even on competing sites.

If agents would not suggest relying on it, why are you posting about it and why don't you ask over on Zillow?

Just curious.
1 vote
inna ivchenko, Agent, Calabasas, CA
Thu Jul 12, 2012
I was surprised to see that Zillow is NOT BBB Accredited.........!?
check yourself.

when I work with clients, I immediately create local mls private website where they have all newest data access, statistics, etc. Works well:)
0 votes
inna ivchenko, Agent, Calabasas, CA
Fri Jul 6, 2012
Well, It is not fun when someone argues with you supporting his knowledge about prices based on such public free websites.
Even some realtors( lol). Just yesterday I got a call and was requested to schedule appointment on one of my past listings. It is not active for months! The Lady was......a realtor! She said: ''my client saw it on .....public website, they are interested and want to see it right away!' Couldn't she check mls?
0 votes
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