The Truth About The Zestimate (Zillow Home Value Estimate)
By now you've heard of the popular website Zillow. The site is best known for quickly providing owners a valuation of their home, called a “Zestimate®”. As described on Zillow's website,“The Zestimate® home value is Zillow's estimated market value for an individual home and is calculated for about 100 million homes nationwide”.
I am often confronted with this guesstimate when meeting with clients considering the sale of their Pensacola area home. I arrive prepared with a CMA, and the homeowner with their Zestimate®provided by Zillow.
It's not uncommon (much to the chagrin of owners) to learn that the valuation they received from Zillow is grossly inaccurate. Reviewing the painstakingly prepared CMA is sometimes an uncomfortable conversation. Similar to removing a band-aid from a cut on your arm, the quicker you remove the band-aid the less it hurts.
The less known(and less popular) information on Zillow's website is the section titled “How accurate is the Zestimate®”. Buried deep beneath the map of your home and Zestimate®, lies a page that displays the exact margin of error for Zillow's automated valuation.
According to the accuracy page of their website for Florida counties, 88.1% of homes in Escambia county have a Zestimate® within 20% of the sales price. If I miscalculated the value of my client's home with that much error, come Monday I'd be looking for a new job.
The good news is homeowners have alternatives available when checking the value of their home. You can always contact your local real estate professional and have them send you a list of comparable homes that have sold recently.
For people seeking the convenience of an online market report, we provide a highly detailed analysis of your home's value. In addition, you can choose to be notified every two weeks or monthly of changes to the value of your home. This is a convenient reporting format in this fast moving seller's market.