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I Don't Need a Real Estate Professional!

3/11/2013

How Accurate Are Zillow Estimates (so called Zestimates)

2/23/2011

Zillow uses statistical data (zip code, square footage, bedrooms, baths etc) to make their calculations. Some counties provide all the data that they could hope for, but others are lacking such key things. The more data they have, the more accurate the Zestimate. In some areas, they might not be able to produce a Zestimate at all (like in Middlesex&Mercer counties indicated below). If the home facts are incorrect, affects the value. Also, they've never been to the house, never seen the owner's expertise with colors and landscaping. The number of transactions in a geographic area affects the prevailing market values. The fewer the transactions, the lesser the data and the less accurate the estimate will be. Also, they use public data for house attributes, and some areas report less or no data than others.

Zillow has no way of knowing if the property has been renovated, if it is in a desirable school district, sits on the corner of a very busy street, is in a new home community or a historical district, is a water-front or not, or even if it is in an urban high-rise luxury condo within blocks of a low income housing. Also, there are issues with data discrepancies(the data is only as good as what is entered by a consumer) - mobile or pre-fabbed homes listed as single families, rentals listed as sales, condos/townhomes listed as single-families, and so on.

As Zillow clearly states "It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home's value." Look at the table below and decide for yourself if you should rely on a Zillow estimate, or on what your real estate agent tells you!

Last updated: January 11, 2011
Note: Zestimate accuracy is computed by comparing the final sale price to the Zestimate on or before the sale date. The data herein is computed for the three-month period ending September 30, 2010.

Refer to Zillow.com for the above information.

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