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What is a Zestimate

A Zestimate is an estimated market value for a property, calculated by Zillow, a popular real estate website. It uses various data sources and algorithms to estimate the value of a property based on factors such as location, size, and recent sales of similar properties in the area. Many home sellers and buyers insist on its validity and use it as a basis for determining the sale price of a home. However, it’s important to note that a Zestimate is just an estimate based on computer generated calculations. So, are Zestimates accurate? A Zestimate oftentimes will not reflect the actual market value of a property.

How Does It Work

Zillow uses their custom tailored algorithm that uses mathematical and computational processes to generate property valuations, provide search results, and deliver other features and services. The specific details of the algorithm are proprietary and not publicly disclosed by Zillow. They do take into account various factors such as property characteristics, location, and recent sales data to estimate property values. The algorithm is continuously updated as more homes are sold.

Other Computer Generated Estimates

Zillow is not the only real estate website to use algorithms. Redfin, Realtor.com, Trulia, and Core Logic also use algorithms on their website to estimate the value of a home. It’s important to note that each company may have its own proprietary algorithms and methodologies, and the specific details of their algorithms is not made public.

Why They Are Not Always Accurate

While Zestimates can provide a rough estimate of a property’s value, there are several reasons why home sellers and buyers should NOT rely on them to determine the value of a house. Here are a few considerations:

1. Lack of physical inspection: Zestimates are based on data analysis, without physically inspecting the property. This means that unique features, renovations, or damages may not be accurately reflected in the estimate.

2. Limited data accuracy: Zestimates rely on available public data, which may not always be up-to-date or accurate. Factors such as recent renovations or local market conditions may not be adequately captured.

3. Regional variations: Real estate markets can vary significantly by region, and Zestimates may not account for these variations accurately. Local market conditions, neighborhood desirability, and other factors can greatly impact a property’s value.

4. Professional appraisal: Zillow does not take into account if a property was just recently appraised by a local professional. Appraisers consider all relevant factors, physically inspect the property, looks at recent sold data, and provide a more comprehensive analysis.

Know the Value of Your Home

The best way to know the value of your home is to contact your personal Real Estate Specialist. In our article on “How Do I Know the Value of My Home”, we outline the process of conducting a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA is a tool used to estimate the value of a home by evaluating home features, amenities, and similar homes that have sold recently in the same area.

An experienced agent will look at many factors including: Location, Property Condition, Market Condition, Square Footage, Number of Beds/Baths, Improvements, Age of Home, and Amenities.

It’s important to remember that a CMA is only good for the time in which it is done. Any changes to the real estate market in your area makes it necessary to conduct a new CMA. Changes include homes that sold after your CMA was completed, a shift in market conditions such as lowering of interest rates, and major improvements to the home.

How a Real Estate Specialist Can Help with Zestimates

While real estate professionals work hard to share the truth about the Zestimate, there is still much work to be done. If a home seller is concerned that a low valuation on Zillow will affect their sale, a trained agent is able to assist. At Home Estate Realty Group, we review our client’s homes on all online platforms. This includes Google, Zillow, Redfin, etc. Like it or not, home shoppers are watching. It takes time and effort but we believe its vital in ensuring our client’s assets are shown in the best possible light at all times. Many times, we are able to provide accurate information to these sites and get adjustments.



So to answer the question, are Zestimates accurate, the answer is “not really”. Zestimates can often give a good estimate but oftentimes are problematic. The best way to determine the value of a home is to ask your personal real estate specialist. We look forward to hearing from you.