If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, chances are you’ve stumbled upon Zillow’s Zestimate tool. But which is a better oprtion to find your home valuation….Zillow Zestimates or Realtor?
Zillow Zestimate is an automated home value estimation service is marketed as a convenient and easy way to get an estimate of your home’s value, but is it really accurate?
In this article, we’ll explore the inaccuracies and potential negatives of Zillow’s Zestimates, and why using a Realtor with access to real data on comparable homes that have sold is a better option.
First, let’s talk about how Zillow’s Zestimate works. The tool uses an algorithm that takes into account a variety of factors, including the home’s location, size, age, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and recent sales in the area. However, the algorithm doesn’t take into account the condition of the home or any unique features that may affect its value. Zillow also relies on public data sources, which can sometimes be incomplete or out-of-date.
As a result, Zillow Zestimates can be wildly inaccurate. According to Zillow, the tool has a median error rate of 4.5%. In other words, for a $500,000 home, the Zestimate could be off by as much as $22,500. In some cases, Zestimates can be even further off the mark. For example, a homeowner in Chicago was shocked to see that Zillow estimated the value of their 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom home at $39,000 – despite the fact that similar homes in the area were selling for upwards of $400,000.
So why do Zestimates miss the mark so often? There are a few reasons. First, as mentioned, the algorithm doesn’t take into account the condition of the home or any unique features that may affect its value. For example, if your home has a stunning view or a custom-built kitchen, that could significantly increase its value – but Zillow’s algorithm won’t know that.
Additionally, Zestimates can be skewed by sales that don’t reflect the true value of a home. For example, if a home in your area sells for significantly less than its actual value due to a distressed sale or other factors, that could bring down the Zestimate for other homes in the area.
Another issue with Zillow Zestimates is that they can’t take into account the nuances of your local real estate market. Real estate markets can vary widely even within a single city or neighborhood, and relying on a broad algorithm to estimate home values can lead to inaccuracies. A Realtor with access to real data on comparable homes that have sold in your specific area can provide a much more accurate estimate of your home’s value.
There are also potential negatives to relying solely on Zillow Zestimates when buying or selling a home. For example, if a seller sets their asking price based solely on their Zestimate, they may end up pricing their home too high or too low. This could result in the home languishing on the market for too long, or being sold for less than it’s actually worth.
In conclusion, while Zillow’s Zestimates may be a convenient tool, they should be taken with a grain of salt. The algorithm can be inaccurate and doesn’t take into account the unique features or condition of a home, and can be skewed by sales that don’t reflect the true value of a home.
To get a more accurate estimate of your home’s value, it’s best to work with a Realtor who has access to real data on comparable homes that have sold in your specific area. Ultimately, a Realtor can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the home buying or selling process, and can help ensure that you’re getting the best possible value for your home.
If you are planning to sell your home in Marion, Levy, Citrus or Alachua county in Florida, give me a call today for a detailed and accurate home valuation report, or get an instant valuation here.