Are Zillow Zestimates Accurate?

We are often asked, “Is Zillow accurate?”

The simple answer is that it can be, however in most cases it is not.

Zillow is a computer program that takes information from many places mashes it together and applies an algorithm which produces a result. It’s artificial intelligence and it lacks human interpretation.

What Factors is Zillow Missing?

Zillow would work great if all real estate was able to be compared like a commodity. But real estate is not a commodity and as a result, Zillow is less than accurate.

There are 3 things Zillow misses when giving an estimate:

  1. Buyers usually get emotional when purchasing real estate. Fact is all real estate is not the same and there is emotion involved in every transaction. Zillow can’t measure the buyer’s or seller’s emotional response to a real estate transaction.
  2. Updates and Improvements: In addition, Zillow cannot tell if a home has been updated, remodeled or has the original finishes from the 1950s.
  3. External Factors: It also does not measure external factors such as high traffic streets, ball fields or what the government may be doing such as influencing interest rates.

What Information Does Zillow Use to Determine Property Values:

Zillow is working entirely off of historical data with no analysis (at least that I know of) the most current trends and what the future may hold.

What is Zillow Good For?

Zillow is a good entertainment tool and may be able to tell you what homes in the neighborhood sold for but as far as the value of your home it is doubtful that it is correct.
Lonnie Heward, President of Accurate Appraisal USA, explains the differences between Zillow’s reporting and a professional real estate appraisal.

What Does an official Appraisal Do that Zillow Doesn’t?

There are 7 Things that a Professional Real Estate Appraiser Should do that Zillow Can’t.

  1. Actual Property Facts: With a full appraisal, you will get actual information about your property reported on.
  2. Accurate Measurements: An appraiser will physically measure your home to determine the accurate square footage.
  3. Details and Upgrades: The details and upgrades to your home will be recorded analyzed and valued to reflect the market reaction.
  4. Market Evaluation: The market will be analyzed to determine if changes have occurred since the sale of the comparables.
  5. Careful Selection of Comps: A trained professional will select the comparables that best represent your property.
  6. Potential Issues: You can request an appraiser to highlight potential issues with a home that may delay a closing.
  7. Concise Reporting: All of this will be assembled in a report format with ample narrative explaining the results of the research and methodologies.

Remember Accurate Appraisals USA for an accurate valuation of your real estate. See our Fee Schedule here and schedule an appointment.

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