Is It Okay To Use Zillow’s Zestimates And Are They Accurate?
Almost any home sellers and buyers have at least heard of Zillow and their Zestimate. Zillow.com is a website that is a site that promotes the purchase and sale of properties. They have a feature named Zestimate that gives an estimate of the price of the home. Sadly some people take this estimate and put far too much faith into it. So how accurate is a Zestimate? When can it be used and how can you use it? In this article we will talk about these issues and also give you a few home selling tips on how a Zestimate is able to work alongside your overall marketing strategy.
How Does A Zestimate Work?
A Zestimate is something that shows a home’s market value using both public information and user data. Zillow uses a private algorithm, and it is great point to use as a starting point for your home’s estimated value.
It is, in summary, a computer generated estimate using comparable home listing prices, final sale prices, and the home’s size all mixed together using their own algorithm. It does not take into account all of the other things that will go into providing an accurate property value. A Zestimate is a pretty good number if your home is in good, or better, condition and if your neighborhood is a good one with few detracting factors.
When Zestimate is not accurate
Because a Zestimate is a blind estimate it is only a partial piece of the puzzle. Since it does not look inside the house, or see the actual condition of the house, or the condition of the neighborhood it is not always the most reliable if your house is not in great shape. If you have a home in good condition and in an average neighborhood it will be a fairly good estimate. It will not take into account any of the other factors that will effect the market value of your home.
If your home is in great need of repairs, then Zestimate will overinflate the value of your home because it does not take into account the repairs that are needed. If your home is next to train tracks that cause noise pollution, your market value will be also be lower. On the other hand, if your home is part of well-reputed school district, it will be higher. Moreover, if you have updated your home with all new appliances or a sunroom, Zestimate will not take this into account.
Also the data that Zillow uses can be incomplete which will also skew the estimates.
How To Use A Zestimate
Just as the name implies it is an estimate. It is not to be used in place of a proper home appraisal. Taking a Zestimate as an actual appraisal is a lot like if you took information on a medical website instead of going to an actual doctor for a proper medical diagnosis. All houses are different and need to have a human inspect them to give a proper property value. Regardless of if you are using a Realtor or if you are selling your home by owner you should only use a starting point and not as anything more.
This estimation can be something that you can discuss with your Realtor or use as the starting point of your research if you are conducting a price analysis of your own. However, Zestimate price is not a sales price or a listing price or the price sold. It is merely an estimation based on comparable homes.
If you want to have a truly accurate estimate of a home’s market value you should hire a professional real estate appraiser. An appraiser is someone that has been trained to professionally evaluates a homes value. This person will give you a detailed estimate of the overall condition of the property, any updates that should be made, and the good and bad points about the neighborhood, and many other things that a Zestimate will not be able to do.