Hi friends. The first half of today’s blog post, is actually an article from my seller’s guide, which you can snag yourself a copy, by clicking here.
The Truth Behind the Zillow Zestimate
Zillow does not use recently sold data to compute their Zestimates, here in the Houston area.
I am excited to bring you some information about Zillow’s Zestimate tool that you might not know. But before I do so, I want to talk about some related laws and information specific to Texas. Texas is a “non-disclosure state”. That means transaction sale prices are not available to the public.
In an article on Zillow Group’s website pertaining to just that, they state, “Since we rely on public county records as our primary data source driving our Zestimate algorithms (which take comparable sales price into accoutn), it poses a challenge to calculate accurate Zestimates when sale prices are not available”.
Even on Zillow’s website, http://www.zillow.com/zestimate/#acc, they rate their Zestimate accuracy in Houston one of our stars. To calculate the data and to improve Zestimate accuracy, Zillow allows homeowners to edit their home facts and then they incorporate that information into their Zestimate calculations. Curious what this one star stands for? According to the legend, one star stands for “Tax assessor’s value, or unable to compute Zestimate accuracy”.
When I first began researching for this article, I had no intentions on exposing so much negativity about Zestimates or the Zillow Group in general, but when I landed on the Consumer Affairs website, I was in a state of shock. I found 405 consumer reviews and complaints, as well as one-star ratings.
The complaints didn’t just come from real estate agents, but mostly consumers. Just the other day, Kelly from Scottsdale, Arizona, mentioned she had been watching her home “value” for many months. She decided ti inquire using the “Zillow Offers” feature, and within days, Zillow dropped the estimated value of her home by $59,000. And another recent reviewer retold her experience with Zillow.
She had purchased a home directly from the builder, and long story short, the Zestimate dropped from $1.1M to $750k, and when she inquired with Zillow, they said “the price changed due to a changed algorithm”. and they refused to adjust her Zestimate, even though she provided them with an official appraisal from her purchase.
I am not intentionally trying to tear down this major corporation, but just shed some light on how Zestimates are computer, while educating you on the character behind the company.
So if I can’t rely on a Zestimate, what can I rely on?
This is where the exactimate homes into place. Yeah, it is a bit of a play on words here, and no one can tell you, but the future person that buys your house, exactly what your home is “worth”, but I have partnered with an amazing lender, and with the help of some amazing software, we are able to provide you with some more accurate and information to figure out the true value of your home.
Please keep in mind that one thing no program, app, or algorithm can account for is the market. Depending on the time of the year, the price of your home, the exact location, and the condition of your home, a real estate agent might recommend pricing it a bit above or below the computer value.
I would love to provide you with your exactimate, call, text, or email me.
If you need any help in finding out the value of your home here in the Houston area, I would love to assist you.
Jordan Marie Schilleci, REALTOR®, Jo & Co. Realty Group