Have you Been Looking on Zillow?
Have you been looking on Zillow for the market value of your home? Fairly often I receive a phone call from someone who is thinking about selling their home where the conversation begins with “We have been looking at our home value on Zillow and……….”.
You might be surprised to learn I think this is perfectly alright. Zillow has a lot of handy information and the valuation they place on homes is right about 50% of the time in my opinion. The problem is, the average homeowner does not know if their Zillow valuation is “spot on” or is dramatically different than a valuation using better data.
Zillow is a website (Zillow.com) where all properties, whether on the market for sale or not, have been assigned a value, called a “Zestimate” that represents the best valuation Zillow’s computers could come up with for the property.
Here’s what Zillow says about their valuation of your home:
“The Zestimate (pronounced ZEST-ti-met, rhymes with estimate) home valuation is Zillow’s estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home’s value. The Zestimate is calculated from public and user submitted data; your real estate agent or appraiser physically inspects the home and takes special features, location, and market conditions into account. We encourage buyers, sellers, and homeowners to supplement Zillow’s information by doing other research such as:
Getting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent
Getting an appraisal from a professional appraiser
Visiting the house (whenever possible)”
If you think your Zestimate is to high or too low, there are a couple of things you or your real estate agent can do
“As mentioned previously, the Zestimate is a starting point in figuring out the true value of a house The amount of data we have for the house affects the Zestimate accuracy. If your home facts are incorrect or missing, you can update your facts, which may affect your Zestimate value.
- Price history and tax history: Check to see if your price history (the sale price and date you bought your home) and your tax history are correct on Zillow. Depending on the area in which you live, this can be a big factor in your Zestimate. If data are missing or incorrect, please let us know. Click “Edit” on your home details page, then “Report Problem With Home.”
- Updates and remodeling explained: Most upgrade information is not in the public records, and is not easily quantifiable. We do not know about home updates and remodels unless they have been reported to the local tax assessor, so those items are not used in Zestimate calculations. While we do utilize user-submitted data that is measurable, (e.g., additional bedroom count, bath count, and square footage) there is no way for us to systematically gather and verify the type of remodel or build information where the value is based upon how the final product appeals to the buyer. Because of this, the algorithm can’t use that information.
- Your home icon on the map: Region boundaries usually do not affect the Zestimate. That being said, if the home icon is in the wrong spot, either Zillow staff or the home owner can correct that. Move Home Instructions”
Again, it is important to know that either the owner or the Real Estate agent can make these adjustments on Zillow.
But wait, why not just go ahead and have a licensed Realtor, who already knows the local real estate market do an actual Comparative Market Analysis (called a “CMA” in the industry)?
DO YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT TO PRICE YOUR HOME in today’s real estate market? Just call a Realtor. Most of us provide this as a free service and would be happy to talk to you about your home’s market value.
Neighborhoods We Serve:
Sally English and The English Team sell homes in neighborhoods throughout Atlanta Georgia including Northlake, Tucker, Decatur, Emory University, Centers for Disease Control, Buckhead, Chamblee, Doraville, Druid Hills, Dunwoody, Eastlake, Embry Hills, Evansdale, Hawthorne, Henderson, Idlewood, Intown, Lilburn, Livsey, Midtown, Midvale, Oak Grove, Pleasantdale, Sagamore Hills, Stone Mountain, and Winding Woods.
Call or text direct at 404-229-2995 or CONTACT US for more information about the valuation of your home. It’s free!
Sally English is a Zillow ALL STAR: check out our profile on Zillow.