In the world of real estate, there’s one topic that consistently ignites a spirited debate among buyers, sellers, and industry professionals alike — the accuracy of Zillow’s Zestimate. Is it trustworthy? Can it be relied upon to determine the true value of your home? Today, we’re going to delve into an unbiased analysis of Zillow’s infamous Zestimate, revealing whether it’s a tool you should be utilizing or not.
Our goal is to take a non biased look at Zillow’s Zestimate and identify if you can use it to accurately estimate your homes value.
Let’s unravel the mystery together, shall we?
Today, we’re going to embark on a two-part journey of discovery. First, we’ll unravel what the Zestimate truly is, and then, we’ll shed some light on the facts often hidden in plain sight. By the end, you’ll have insights you’ve probably never come across before.
1. How is a Zestimate?
In simple terms, a Zestimate is Zillow’s estimated market value for a home. Zillow uses a sophisticated algorithm that considers a wide range of information to provide this estimate. The Zestimate is not an appraisal, but it can offer a starting point for understanding a home’s value.
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2. How is a Zestimate calculated?
Zillow’s Zestimate algorithm uses a proprietary formula, which considers many data points. These can include physical attributes, such as square footage, number of bedrooms, and bathrooms, as well as location-specific elements such as proximity to amenities, neighborhood trends, and local market conditions. It also takes into account historical and current transaction data, like recent sales of similar homes in the same area.
However, it’s important to note that Zestimates don’t account for everything. They don’t consider certain elements, like recent renovations or unique features and interior finishes, as this kind of information might not be available in public records or reported to Zillow.
Obviously, the best way to get an accurate evaluation of your home’s value is to hire an appraiser or chat with an expert real estate agent in your area!
3. Zestimate’s Accuracy
Zillow has been transparent about the accuracy of their Zestimates, stating that it has a median error rate of roughly 2-3% for on-market homes. This means that half of the Zestimates are within 2-3% of the selling price, and half are off by more. The accuracy can vary depending on the location and the availability of data in a particular area. To judge Zillow Zestimate’s accuracy levels, there are two different categories of Active, or On-Market listings, and Off-Market listings.
The Active Listings Accuracy section are the homes that are currently listed online. Zillow breaks down the accuracy down by state, but it can be narrowed down to your specific city. Researching Charlotte’s data for homes that were listed online and sold, 78.6% of the time the Zestimate was within 5% of the sales price. 93.8% of the time the Zestimate was within 10% of the sales price. According to that data, the values are pretty accurate between the Zestimate and the current list price of a home.
Comparing the Off-Market sales data, only 41.44% of the homes sold were within 5% of the Zestimate price. That’s 78% for active listings versus 41% off-market, which is a big difference! Zillow is much less accurate when it comes to off-market homes than when it comes to active listings.
Researching homes currently listed for sale in the Charlotte, NC market the Zestimate changes whenever the home is officially listed for sale. For example, a home is currently on the market listed at $689,000 and the Zestimate is at $702,000, a difference of $13,000. The Zillow Zestimate appears pretty accurate. When taking a closer look at the home value button on Zillow, it will take you down to a chart that shows a Zestimate chart over time. The Zestimate value shown on the example’s home right before it was listed was $509,000. When the home was officially listed for sale, the value jumped up to $702,000! Now, that’s a big difference!
Check out the video for several other examples of Zestimates before and after a home is listed in the active market and how they mimic the actual list price!
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4. How to update your home’s information on Zillow?
The information that Zillow has on your home may be incorrect. There is a way you can update your information on Zillow to get an updated value on your home. Go to Zillow’s website and “Claim Ownership” of your address, verify ownership, and “Update Facts”. Correcting the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square feet of your home, and other features will provide an updated Zestimate.
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5. The Role of Zestimates in Today’s Housing Market
In today’s digital-driven housing market, Zestimates play a significant role. They offer a quick, easy-to-access estimation of a home’s value. However, Zestimates are a starting point and not a definitive appraisal of a home’s value. They are a helpful tool but should be supplemented with professional appraisal, comprehensive market analysis, and expert real estate advice.
6. What is your home’s true value?
If you’re curious on what your home’s TRUE value is? Want to know how much it could be worth on the market? Sign up for a free home evaluation today! Our expert team will provide you with an accurate and comprehensive report, giving you insight into the current market and helping you make informed decisions about your property. Sign up now and take the first step towards unlocking the TRUE potential of your home!
As your trusted realtor, I’m here to help you make the most of your assets and guide you on this rewarding journey. If you’re ready to explore the possibilities that your home’s equity offers, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I’m excited to assist you in unlocking the full potential of your home’s equity and creating a lasting legacy for your family.
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