Zillow Estimates Not Cutting It in My Neighborhoods

Zillow Estimates Not Cutting It in My Neighborhoods

Zillow estimatesI get a lot of calls and emails from people in my neighborhood who have visited the Zillow website.  These folks have used Zillow’s  feature that gives a home value estimate for a specific home.  Basically, the people who call me have obtained a Zillow Estimate of their home value and it is low, real low.

Naturally, they are concerned because the value is less than they expected and they are usually thinking about making some kind of move.  Maybe they are thinking about re-financing or they are considering a move or maybe they just want to know what their home is worth after all the turbulence in the market place.

My first response is “relax, the Zillow computer is probably wrong”.  Zillow is good at compiling data and also allows public access to the data.  The problem comes in how it is evaluated by the computer.  A home that appears on House Beautiful is treated the same as a home that caught fire and had the kitchen and family room burned out.  No consideration is given to the condition of the home.

Secondly, no consideration is given to the motivation behind the sale.  Was the sale a foreclosure or other extenuating circumstance?  These sales have to be factored in to the valuation formula but it is important to take in to account the motivation of the seller.

zillow estimatesFinally, Zillow computers don’t get it right when it comes to selecting comparables for your home.  They look geographically at homes near the property being valuated, but they are not aware of the difference in streets and neighborhoods.  Was the home on the next street over in a different school district?  Does the neighborhood next door have a problem with crime?  Did the street Zillow chose for the comparable have a problem with traffic or cut through? Any of these factors significantly affect home values.

ZILLOW DOES NOT USE SCHOOL BOUNDARIES in the Zestimate calculation.  This is a killer in Emory and CDC neighborhoods as schools have a huge influence on home values.

Do you need an accurate assessment of the market value of your metro Atlanta Georgia home?  If yes, go to the English Teams home valuation website

You will find information there that will help you understand the home valuation process.

You can request a free market analysis of your home OR a free CMA.  A market analysis gives you a quick idea of the value of your home.  A CMA is more in depth and is primarily for folks thinking about selling their home.  We need to speak to you on the phone and visit the property to do that analysis.  Either way the service is free and there is no obligation. Note: real humans are crunching the numbers, not a computer!

Here is a big surprise – I love Zillow and think does an outstanding job with the tools it has in hand.  I pay to advertise on Zillow and I am an active participant in the Zillow advice forum.  Do use Zillow and explore the rich tapestry of real estate information it provides.

Sally English and The English Team, Atlanta real estate agents, specialize in homes and neighborhoods convenient to Emory University and The CDC.  Call us at 770-939-3174.  We are ready to assist you in buying or selling an Atlanta Georgia home.