Why Your Zillow Zestimate May Be Wrong

March 6, 2017

Zillow Zestimates may offer zesty home valuations, tempting to the homeowner who wants quick answers as to what their house is worth. But what if those valuations are wrong? How much money might you be losing with a quick-fix online estimate? In the Miami area, Zillow Zestimates may be off by a whopping 8 percent or more. When you’re considering selling a luxury home, that 8 percent could equate to a pretty penny. Why trust an impersonal online guesstimate when real estate agents are able, willing, and ready to give you and your home the attention you deserve?

Why the Rush?

Patience is a virtue. All good things in time, right? Look, your inclination for a fast find in home valuations likely has nothing to do with the money. You’re not looking to save a buck by searching online as opposed to using a real estate agent. That fast and furious home valuation you seek online might just cost you an arm and a leg in the long run if your online estimate isn’t accurate.

Let’s do the Math:

Let’s say your home is actually worth $2 million. Your online Zestimate from Zillow could cost you a total of $160,000, considering an 8 percent inaccuracy on the wrong side of the dollar sign. And let’s face it, you didn’t earn your status as a luxury home owner by chucking cash out the window for convenience sake. Why would you start now?

Why might Zillow be Short-Changing You?

Chances are, there’s zero malicious intent in Zillow’s Zestimates. However, Zillow is in the business of making money, which they aim to do with quick solutions. Their goal is to pull you into the loop of their marketing campaigns. There’s nothing wrong with that! We all appreciate business opportunities – except, of course, when they’re at our expense. Where Zillow misses the boat is in their inability to personally assess your property. Zillow cannot take into consideration the upgrades you’ve invested, the features you’ve upgraded, the technological “perks” in your property. In other words, what Zillow provides is an educated guess based on an accumulation of automated data.

How it Works:

Zillow’s website states, “[Zestimates] are a starting point in determining a home’s value and is not an official appraisal.” Boom. It’s even in the fine print. Zillow is crystal clear on what they are – and are not – providing. Furthermore, the Zillow website states their estimates are based on “… our historical ability to estimate similar homes.” Zillow is a data farm that openly claims inaccurate valuations which may be lower or higher than your home’s true value. Your Zillow Zestimate may vary in accuracy depending on how much – or how little – information has been gathered for your area. Zillow is a starting point, not a solution. In fact, throughout the Zillow website, Zillow recommends you work with a professional real estate agent. Period.

What if You’re Just Curious?

Curiosity is a wonderful thing. You may not yet be ready to list your property on the real estate market. Therefore, you may hesitate in contacting a real estate agent because you’re just not ready to sell. But here’s the thing: real estate agents, especially the good ones, value relationships. It’s not all about the transaction. You are not a dollar sign in a professional, qualified real estate agent’s eyes. Although you may not yet be ready to sell, an agent will be more than happy to work with you, often at no cost, to properly determine your home’s true value. Why? Rapport. Experienced real estate agents trust that when the time is right, if they’ve made a strong impression by investing in you, you will call them when you’re ready. And if you are never ready, you may know someone who is. Referrals are a large part of a real estate agent’s business.

Go Ahead and Get Your Zestimate

There’s nothing wrong with exploring, with getting a rough idea of what you home may worth. Zillow Zestimates are not necessarily a bad thing. But after your Zestimate is generated, reach out to a professional real estate agent, through experience and education, who can properly asses the worth of your house. It won’t cost you a thing to inquire, and it could save you thousands of dollars.

Your best source for real estate and community information is your real estate agent. Contact Juan Leal at 305-982-7405 to learn more about local neighborhoods, discuss selling your house, or to tour available homes in Miami and surrounding areas.

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