What you should know about Zillow Part 1

Sometime ago, my husband pointed out a website he thought was pretty neat.  Zillow.  I thought, “What in the world is that?”  Turns out, it is a website that allows the user to search for homes for sale and add their own home to the list. The feature my husband thought was interesting was the “Zestimate.” This is a “value” of your home generated by a Zillow formula. At the time, I didn’t think much of this little feature because, well, I am real estate agent. The concept of a generic formula may sound good in theory.  However, in practice, it is the single biggest mistake in pricing a home. So, I dismissed it. Sort of like Paul, Sr. would dismiss the comparison between a factory Honda and one of his personal OCC creations.  The Honda rides fine, it’s fun. But, when your ready to get serious, give him a call.

I didn’t give it another thought, really. Especially since there are no “Zestimates” in my market anyway.  Type in Hinesville, Ft. Stewart, Richmond Hill, or even Savannah – no Zestimate. In fact, this is the first thing you need to know about Zillow.  As a seller, go ahead and ask your agent to list it there.  The agent will put in the price of the house that you decided on without worrying about Zillow’s generic opinion clouding the field. As a buyer, understand that most of the prices listed are from user input. You are looking at the price the owner set, usually with an agent. Continue to do your research to find out if the price is reasonable.

Comments

  1. Jonathan Greene says:

    The problem with “Zestimates” is that they’re built upon public information and can’t very well take into account improvements, design changes, renovations, market slide, etc. It’s an imperfect science to begin with, and damn near impossible without looking at the place first.

  2. April Groves says:

    We are fortunate in our market that Zillow doesn’t have information for the “Zestimate.” I am sure it is just a matter of time.

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