How accurate is Zillow?

| Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 | No Comments »

I don’t think I’ve ever had a client that has not mentioned Zillow at least once during our time together. It’s not my favorite topic but it shows me that my clients are doing their homework. The “Zestimate” is Zillow’s estimated market value for a home but how accurate is it?

This screen shot taken from Zillow’s website shows that in Seattle, the Zestimate is within 5% of the actual sales price only 31% of the time. It gets within 20% of the sales price 78% of the time. That is not exactly an exact science so do your own research or better yet, have your agent help you. In fact, Zillow’s website says:

We encourage buyers, sellers, and homeowners to supplement Zillow’s information by doing other research such as:

* Getting a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent

* Getting an appraisal from a professional appraiser

* Visiting the house (whenever possible)

Bottom line: the Zestimate is a good tool but there is definitely room for error.

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