Take Zillow with a pinch of salt (may be more than a pinch)

A house in San Mateo listed in ZipRealty for $629k. The same house in Zillow has been estimated (rather zestimated) to be $772k. That gave the house the following stats

30day +1.7%
1yr +9.6%
5yr +92.4% and
10yr 141.0%

and since last sold? +12.9% (sale date 08/11/2005). Unless Zillow starts tweaking it’s zestimate algorithm to the changing real-estate reality landscape, the numbers will only fool you. Also, for buyers doing online research, try out multiple sources including ZipRealty, Zillow and Redfin. Depending on where you live in the US, some other website catering to your local market.

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4 Comments

Filed under real estate, Zillow

4 responses to “Take Zillow with a pinch of salt (may be more than a pinch)

  1. Also try Cyberhomes (valuations), HomeGain (valuations, listings), Trulia (listings).

  2. AVM’s are notoriously inaccurate.

    You can try HomeGain’s instant homevaluation tool also.

    We pioneered the concept of the consumer web-based valuation tool back in 1999-2001 and recently brought back the tool.

    You can try it here http://www.HomeGain.com
    but after if you are serious about selling your home its best to contrat a real estate professional.

  3. Hi, it’s David from Zillow,

    We are constantly receiving updated sale transaction information which enables our algorithm to effectively “tweak” itself as time goes by and market climates change. That said, remember that automated valuations are not the final word on house values.

  4. AVM’s have a difficult time adjusting for quick changes in the market and local market conditions. However, they do provide an easy way to get quick estimates and view of comps/recent sales in the area. To take the next step a local market professional is needed.

    Also, check out eppraisal.com (http://www.eppraisal.com) as another data source.

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