Zillow is the number one place homeowners go to find out what their home is “worth.” But is it accurate? How much trust should you have in this method? Here are four reasons why you should use Zillow zestimates as guidelines, not accurate values for your home.
Reason #1: Zillow is a computer. That’s it. It doesn’t have instinct. It can’t walk through your home to see what it looks like, what it smells like, what updates it needs–such as, paint touch-ups, minor flaws, upgrades that improve your value–or tell you what you can expect from buyers in your market. Bottom line: It can’t replace local, specialized realtors and appraisers who view your home in-person. If all we needed were computers, Zillow would have replaced me years ago.
Reason #2: Zillow is nation-wide vs local. Some subdivisions have certain streets where homes tend to sell for a little more. As a local agent, I understand these “pockets” and I know how to account for them in my research. This requires human familiarity, experience, and research to notice where these inconsistencies are happening.
Reason #3: Zillow is not consistent. I’ve researched plenty of homes on their site, and their estimations are all over the place. Every once in a while they can get close, but it’s a hit or miss.
Reason #4: Zillow holds no clout with lenders, buyers, or appraisers. Your home’s value will come down to a human appraiser who walks through your home.
Now, please understand that this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use some of Zillow’s tools. Just be cautious in how much faith you’re putting into their home value estimates.