Posted on 17th Jun, 2014 by Susan Talarico

Zillow VS the REALTOR®

blog-zillow.jpg I read it on the Internet. How often do you hear that from a friend and just shake your head?

As a REALTOR®, I have the same reaction when I am told, “Zillow said my home is worth…” There is so much information available on the internet these days, some of it great, some of it good and some that is just not worthy of relying on.

Now don’t get me wrong and think I am here to bash Zillow. Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and the like certainly have their place. They serve their purpose in getting a feel for the marketplace and what is out there. However, they are third party providers of information from the Multiple Listing Service of several REALTOR® boards nationwide. Due to the way their information is received and transmitted, quite often you may find homes on those sites that appear to be available when they are already under contract. Both Zillow and Trulia place values on properties based solely on mathematical algorithms. Their methods do not take in to account information that can only be obtained from a real estate professional such as a REALTOR® or appraiser.

Zillow’s Zestimate® is just what it sounds like, an estimate. Some home sellers are shocked when the value assigned from Zillow is vastly different than the appraisal from a professional appraiser. This explanation of a Zestimate® comes directly from Zillow: “The Zestimate® home value is Zillow's estimated market value for an individual home and is calculated for about 100 million homes nationwide. It is a starting point in determining a home's value and is not an official appraisal. “Zillow even goes on to recommend consulting with real estate professionals. Again, directly from the Zillow website:

The Zestimate® home valuation is Zillow's estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home's value. The Zestimate® is calculated from public and user submitted data; your real estate agent or appraiser physically inspects the home and takes special features, location, and market conditions into account. We encourage buyers, sellers, and homeowners to supplement Zillow's information by doing other research such as:

  • Getting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent
  • Getting an appraisal from a professional appraiser
  • Visiting the house (whenever possible)

Yes, even Zillow believes that it pays to consult a REALTOR®.  Please feel free to give me a call when you need to consult with a REALTOR®.


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