Is Zillow Really Accurate, Take A Look For Yourself

Is Zillow Really Accurate, Take A Look For Yourself

 

Is Zillow Really Accurate

 

Over the past 5-7 years, the internet has become the main source to get information, especially when it comes to real estate. With so much data available, we think it is important for consumers to understand exactly what they are reading. 

Today, we are going to be looking at one of the most visited sites, Zillow.com. Zillow has quickly become known to consumers as a good place to go to check home values, and is a fine site. However, a problem that a lot of real estate agents have is that people seem to be putting too much weight on the numbers they see here, and are paying less attention to the more accurate figures they receive from us.  I couldn’t tell you how many conversations I have had with a client that starts with them saying “you know, we were on Zillow, and it says our home is worth…”  

I guess I don’t blame someone for wanting to believe some of the things they read on line, but we thought it was time to set the record straight.  Let’s take a closer look at the information you are getting.

If you go to Zillow.com, there will be a link at the very bottom of the home page that takes you to a disclaimer regarding their values.  Here’s what I’m referring to:

 

 link to zillow accuracy disclaimer

         estimate Values and Accuracy        Terms of Use      Privacy Policy

Go ahead and click on the link above. Here, you will be able to learn how Zillow comes up with their homes values and see that they do in fact have a margin for error in their figures. They even give specific information on major metropolitan areas, such as our city, Cleveland.

You can even get more detailed information regarding Zillow’s figures if you are the kind of person that loves details.

The point we want to make is that visiting sites like Zillow are great, but the numbers you see should be used merely as a starting point for discussion purposes only. Nothing replaces the information you can get from a local real estate expert.  In fact, Zillow even recommends getting a market analysis from a real estate agent, it even says so right on their site.

We find that a little education goes a long way, and hopefully you found this helpful. Now, if you end up sitting down with us to buy or sell a home, you won’t start the conversation with …”you know, I was on Zillow the other day….”

The following are other articles of interest:

Real Estate Agents Are Not Just Door Openers – What A Buyers Agent Really Does

How Much Can I Get That Home For

 

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About The Authors:

Dan and Amy Schuman are Solon OH residents. They specialize in Solon luxury homes, working with buyers relocating to Solon, and first-time buyers.

For Ohio and Solon OH real estate and homes see Solon real estate

For a personal consultation or to speak directly to The Schuman Team, call 216-346-3235.

VIEW ALL SOLON OH HOMES FOR SALE 

 CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE


 Is Zillow Really Accurate, Take A Look For Yourself is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©September,2010

Disclaimer: The Schuman Team practices real estate in Ohio. Since many states have different laws and protocol regarding a real estate transaction, we recommend consulting a qualified local legal professional prior to entering into any written agreement. This blog contains observations and opinions related to our first hand experience working with buyers and sellers in Ohio, but should not be construed as legal advice.  Accuracy is not guaranteed.

13 Responses to Is Zillow Really Accurate, Take A Look For Yourself
  1. Brad Andersohn
    January 26, 2011 | 9:17 pm

    Thanks for posting this information. We support the idea that Zillow is a great starting point to get property information and a “zestimate”, but consumers should always contact a local real estate agent or appraiser to get a “Zactimate!”

    Zillow does a great job at connecting consumers with willing and able agents, and we do have some great tools and information available to assist the home buyer, seller, and borrowers, but ultimately our visitors end up relying on the experience and knowledge of local experts for their final real estate inquiries and needs.

    • Dan Schuman
      January 31, 2011 | 5:21 pm

      Thanks for the comments, Brad. We always appreciate hearing from you.

  2. Marcia Gelfand
    March 26, 2011 | 11:50 pm

    Zillow is totally out of line with reality as far as I am concerned.

  3. Susan Waddle
    March 27, 2011 | 4:12 am

    Yes, Zillow is a joke! Just joined them and looked up my neighbors home which is for sale, and they have it at about 100K under priced, which is basically the same home as mine, except I have 200 extra sq. Ft and a real 3 car garage. But a 100K just had mine appraised and it was 120,000 over what ZILLOW is stating! JOKE!

  4. Dan Schuman
    March 27, 2011 | 12:32 pm

    Marcia – A lot of folks do feel that way but on the flip side, they do disclose that their numbers can vary. Sites like this are a good tool for consumers to check out but they should ultimately hire an experienced agent in their area that can provide more in depth statistics. As I’ve always said, nothing can replace a good local agent. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Dan Schuman
    March 27, 2011 | 12:37 pm

    Susan – Not sure what area you live, but some states are more accurate than others. When I first saw figures like this on Zillow, I did get annoyed to say the least. However, once I learned more about Zillow, I now understand that their site can actually be a helpful tool to agents like me. To their credit, they do get quite a bit of traffic and a lot of agents I know have been able to take advantage of this.

  6. Nick Trivisonno
    February 14, 2012 | 1:27 am

    The primary issue with Zillow is that it cannot realistically take into account the QUALITY of the house. For example you have two identical houses with the exact same square footage, # of rooms, lot size, etc. One house has a water problem in the basement, old roof, old electric, and an outdated kitchen. The other one had 40k dumped into the house to update the entire house. Zillow (as far as I’m aware) will list the estimated value of both houses identical. I might be wrong here so please correct me.

    It’s a good basis, but like all things on the internet be weary.

    • Dan Schuman
      February 14, 2012 | 1:53 am

      Thanks for commenting, Nick. Your points are correct, Zillow cannot possibly know the intimate details of every home. It is a fine site to get very basic information. There is no way they can be nearly as accurate as an agent who knows the area and tours homes on a regular basis.

  7. Brad Andersohn
    February 14, 2012 | 5:21 pm

    It’s true, with over 100,000,000 million homes on our site and more than 30,000,000 visitors last month in January, there is no way humanly possible for us to have our feet, eyes, and ears in every home and in every neighborhood.

    Though we do have some very elaborate and extensive tools and resources to get and provide data and information, we will always need to rely on the local experts and their abilities to offer and suggest fair market value pricing to homeowners in local markets.

    Each area in the Country is different. Some areas and States are non-disclosure, some areas are limited in resources and public record information. At Zillow, we do provide a self grading and very transparent “Data Coverage and Zestimate Accuracy Table” for each area which you’ll find here: http://www.zillow.com/howto/DataCoverageZestimateAccuracy.htm This has been very helpful to agents working with their local clients.

    Today I had a client question the accuracy of their property tax bill and assessments that came in their mail. Then they questioned the appraisal on their home and even the agents listing price accuracy? At the end of the day, It’s really up to the appraiser and the expert local agent to determine a sales price and what they “think” (and can back up with local comps and data) a buyer is willing to pay for any home.

    • Dan Schuman
      February 14, 2012 | 8:38 pm

      Thanks for your comments, Brad. Amy and I think the world of you and hope you are enjoying your position at Zillow.

  8. Brad Andersohn
    February 14, 2012 | 10:43 pm

    Thanks Dan (and Amy too) I am really enjoying being part of the Zillow family. There are so many exciting things happening right now, it’s hard to keep up.

    In the news this week alone, I’m not sure if you heard but here’s a couple interesting and exciting things happening. I know you’ll want to read about them: http://www.zillow.com/blog/category/professionals/

    Hope you don’t mind me providing a link. The Best to you both always in all your endeavors both business and personal. :)

    • Dan Schuman
      February 14, 2012 | 11:27 pm

      Brad, as a proud member of the Howard Hanna family, I am thrilled that you provided the link and excited about our new partnership with Zillow. It is great news for both consumers and agents.

      • Brad Andersohn
        February 14, 2012 | 11:33 pm

        I totally agree Dan, and we’re very excited too!!

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