Thursday, June 3, 2010

Zillow Zestimates = ZestiWRONG

When Melissa and I go on listing appointments we review detailed comparative market analysis (CMAs) with the seller as well as expansive market data and in the end, share our opinion of value and/or suggested list price for the current market. We’re definitely not the average agent who walks in with the just a listing agreement in one hand and a pen in the other. We would never expect someone to take our numbers seriously if we didn’t backup our opinions with supporting evidence and facts. After we review the data, we say something like: “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, if we were to list your home today, we would list it for….. (if it sounds like something off of an HGTV show, it’s because it is and we even put a 45 second delay in there too)... $175,000.” Occassionally, and what seems to be more and more these days, the seller will respond with something like “but says my home is Zestimated at $225,000?!” For those of you who don’t know, is the second most visited real estate website after and so therefore, more and more folks are visiting it these days and trusting every piece of information they find on it as if it were the real estate Bible. Browsers can search for homes on this site as well as inquire about their home value which Zillow refers to as “Zestimates”. Unfortunately, Zillow’s numbers are so wrong and they should be shot for giving seller’s false hope in this market! Imagine if you visited the site and thought your home was worth $25-75k more than what the market would support? So you may be wondering what makes us think that our opinion of value is any better than Zillows. For one, we’re good at what we do. Reallllly good at what we do. But most importantly, will tell you themselves how bad they are. It’s on their website, in the small print. Visit their site and scroll down to the very bottom and click on “Zestimate Values & Accuracy”. Then click on “States/Counties” and click on the Peach State. Review the chart and take note of the median margin of error (last column on the chart). Here are some examples: Clayton County’s “Zestimates” are off by 78.2%, Henry County’s by 28.8%, Fayette County 10.8%, Fulton 21.8%, Coweta 16.3%, Rockdale 29.2%.

We wish that Zillow’s Zestimates were more accurate, because if they were, home values would be higher and that would be a good sign, but unfortunately, the Zestimates are Zesti-WRONG. So before you pull up to determine your home’s value, please talk with a local Realtor who knows the area and can provide accurate information. And when we said “local Realtor” we were talking about us. :) Give us a call or send us an email and we’ll be happy to help you determine the fair market value of your home. Even if you’re not in the market to sell and are just curious – we’re here to help. There is one thing that we’ll admit to – while we might have better numbers and more knowledge of the local market than Zillow does, they have something we don’t … a cool name for the home values that they provide – the “Zestimate”. Perhaps we should come up with one! So should you hear a friend, relative, co-worker, etc. talk about their “zestimate”, kindly tell them the news and refer them to us!

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