“Determining Your Home Value: How Accurate is Zillow?”
Posted May 4th, 2016 by Clarissa Gregg

Many homeowners interested in getting a ballpark of their home value hop on the internet and end up on Zillow.com. But how accurate is their “Zestimate” compared with the true market value?
There are a lot of factors that play into a property’s current value, such as square footage, lot size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, condition of the home. Zillow looks at sales in a particular area and uses averages to come up with a value for a home in the same neighborhood. If that home is a large home surrounded by smaller homes, the Zestimate is usually skewed towards the low side. If the property is a small home surrounded by larger homes, the Zestimate tends to err on the high side. If the room count or square footage is inaccurate, that will affect the precision of Zillow’s estimate as well. Zillow doesn’t, and really can’t, know the interior of your home – what updates you’ve done, if any, and how that compares with the other sales in your neighborhood. If a lot of homes in your area have been renovated and your home is not upgraded, the Zestimate will likely show a higher value than the true market value.
Because of these many variables, the Zillow website indicates that their national median error rate is almost 8%. For a home worth $250,000, that’s $20,000 in either direction – not an insignificant amount when you are looking at your home value to determine what retirement community or what apartment you might be able to afford! The Zillow website offers a Data Coverage and Zestimate Accuracy Table which lists various US cities and how accurate their Zestimates tend to be. The Median Error ranges between 5.9% and 10.7%. They also show that their Zestimates are within 5% of the final sale price of a property only 38.4% of the time, within 10% of the final sale price only 63.6% of the time, and within 20% of the final sale price 83.1% of the time. Those are not great odds if you are using their information to plan your next move!! In comparison, Moving Station’s probable sale price is typically within 1% of the ultimate sales price of the homes we help sell – pretty darn close!
So as you consider your plans to sell your home, whether you initially check Zillow or not, know that the most accurate way to determine your home’s current value is by speaking with real estate professionals who know your town and your area of town, and that have been inside your home to see the current condition. In addition, involving Moving Station and having our team advise you through your home sale offers an extra level of support and precision you can rely on to plan your next adventure in life!

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