Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

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vested1
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Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by vested1 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:56 am

I've read a few threads here where members are saying that Zillow is fairly accurate for their home's estimated value, and that they use it to keep abreast of their home's market value. That isn't the case where I live (central coast of California), and I would be interested in the opinion of others about their own valuation estimates from the three sources listed in the title of this thread.

Zillow and Trulia show the estimate for the condo we are selling at $480,000 (2/2 980 sq ft). The condo was to go on sale on 1/2/19, with all the work we had planned (all new vinyl plank floors, baseboard, paint, some repairs) completed by 12/1/18 in order to allow for early market showings. Our agent lined up several informal showings with the approval of the tenant who was moving out on a Friday and Saturday, 11/3 and 11/4. The condo is now in escrow since 11/5, and due to close 12/5/18, As Is, for $523,000, with trashed carpets and in dire need of paint and some repairs. Redfin shows the condo valued at $548,547. The difference in our sold price and Redfin's valuation is almost the same when considering the amount of money we were going to spend to fix it up.

Our own home, which we are planning to sell in May of 2019, has a Zillow and Trulia estimate of $571,000 (3/2 1370 sq ft). The same agent says it should easily sell for $650,000, even if I don't paint the interior and exterior as I plan to do. Comps bear this out. Redfin shows our home valued at $600,000.

Zillow also fails to capture sales of homes in our area, which they identify in yellow as sold so you can look at comps, with the date and sold price displayed. However, when you know the address of a house that's sold in the last six months or so, you can click on it and Zillow shows that it was sold even though no yellow dot appears at the address, yet listing the correct date and price of the sale. Most of the time Zillow doesn't show a house for sale in our area even after several months on the market.

This leads me to believe that Zillow, Trulia, and even Redfin valuations and databases, at least in our area, should be accompanied with a salt lick, rather than merely a grain of salt. Our agent agrees.

Moral of the story: Get a good RE agent you can trust.

alfaspider
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by alfaspider » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:13 pm

These estimates should be considered a general ballpark at best. In some cities, they aren't even great for a ballpark, except maybe as a relative comparison between neighborhoods.

However, you can use these services to get a pretty good idea of what your home is worth just by looking at comps yourself- taking into account list prices as well as time to sell. If a similar house a block away listed for $500k and sold 2 weeks later, that should give you a pretty good idea that your home is worth around $500k. A realtor or professional appraiser will also have access to data on actual sale prices, and can get a more accurate estimate.

quantAndHold
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:24 pm

They’re ballpark estimates. On our WA house, the Zillow estimate was consistently 10-20% low, and the Trulia estimate 10-20% high. On our CA house, it’s exactly the opposite.

What they do capture, though, is the relative change over longer periods of time. If the ZEstimate is 50% higher than it was 5 years ago, then your home value has gone up significantly. I wouldn’t put any stock in their 30 day increase or decrease, however. That seems to just be noise.

rich126
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by rich126 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:28 pm

Agents tend to use $/sqft for houses in a neighborhood. That always irks me because it tells you nothing about the condition of the house. One house could be in need of a complete rehab and the other one was just redone.

Personally I don't see Zillow estimates any worse than agent's estimates, unless the agent has been in the comparable homes and knows the condition of the home.

Afty
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by Afty » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:37 pm

The Zillow/Trulia/Redfin numbers you posted look pretty good when you consider that they were created by an algorithm, based only on public data, and posted for free on the Internet.

Rupert
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by Rupert » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:37 pm

I think the Zillow et al estimates tend to be better in newer, cookie-cutter neighborhoods than in older neighborhoods where all the houses are of different styles or have been modified over the years. I live in a historic district where the estimates are almost worthless.

rantk81
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by rantk81 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:39 pm

The numbers on those sites are wildly inaccurate for me, and of no use/value to me.

PFInterest
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by PFInterest » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:41 pm

Vary too much to be worth much.

NOLA
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by NOLA » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:48 pm

Rupert wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:37 pm
I think the Zillow et al estimates tend to be better in newer, cookie-cutter neighborhoods than in older neighborhoods where all the houses are of different styles or have been modified over the years. I live in a historic district where the estimates are almost worthless.

I agree with that. We live in a zipcode where a 2500sqft house can go for anywhere between $200k and $1M. The historic district is just a couple of blocks away from some "sketchy" neighborhoods.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:50 pm

What makes me laugh about Zillow are the wild fluctuations (note- I took the actual number down by a factor for each period). Here's some numbers from the past few years. Note the big drop in mid 2017 for no valid reason.
10/24/18 - $432,932
9/26/18 - $438,864
8/31/18 - $418,501
7/4/18 - $420,649
9/3/17 - $405,299
7/21/17 - $378,312
5/20/17 - $427,991
2/18/17 - $453,109
9/18/16 - $464,585

dave_k
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by dave_k » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:05 pm

Neither Zillow or Redfin seems to do well with waterfront homes (haven't tried Trulia). For our ocean front vacation/rental home, Zillow's estimate is nearly double that of Redfin! The actual value is probably around halfway between. For our primary house on a lake they are closer, but Zillow is still 15% higher. For that one the lower Redfin estimate is probably more accurate. A couple years ago Zillow significantly underestimated the value, and now they are over. Their algorithms aren't great at handling anything but typical property, and they have changed over time. As others said, they are most useful for doing your own comps by looking at recently sold property.

DesertDiva
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by DesertDiva » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:57 pm

Remember that the info you are getting from these sites is essentially click-bait to pull you in. They make money by connecting you to lenders and r.e. agents who pay to get their names featured on these sites.
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daheld
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by daheld » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:04 pm

They're not worth much. They can obviously only take in to account publicly available data. We bought a house 8 months ago for $294k. In the months before we'd bought the house, the Zillow value was right around $260k. When we bought it, it was about $270k. I just checked today and Zillow says $299k.

I love the Zillow interface and find it much more navigable and searchable than the other home listing websites. I particularly love the map and how easy it is to use. But I would not pay much attention to the home value section. It'll give you a ballpark, but so can having a knowledge of the area and real estate trends.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:08 pm

They take average per square foot for the market, multiply that number by the square feet of the property and spit out a stupid number. My wife's aunt just recently went into an assisted living home. Her house was sold to the best offer made. Zillow's estimate (zestimate) was $295k. It sold for $130k. That's how accurate they are.
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alfaspider
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by alfaspider » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:12 pm

rich126 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:28 pm
Agents tend to use $/sqft for houses in a neighborhood. That always irks me because it tells you nothing about the condition of the house. One house could be in need of a complete rehab and the other one was just redone.
Not around here they don't. It's much more sophisticated than that. There are basically 6 sorts of homes in my neighborhood:

1) New construction (2010+) houses built to look like craftsman houses, but much larger.
2) New construction townhouses
3) Original non-remodeled craftsman houses
4) Remodeled craftsman houses
5) Completely gutted, rebuilt, and expanded craftsman houses in the modern style
6) Random houses built in the 80s and 90s that don't conform (only a handful of these)

Of these, type 4 commands the highest price per square foot, and type 3 commands the lowest. Type 3 can actually have negative value (below lot value) if the home is in poor condition because historic preservation laws do not allow you to tear it down, but it often take years before a remodel is approved by the historic district board. No realtor who knows anything about the neighborhood would apply an average price per square foot calculus between different home types- you'd end up wildly under or overpricing homes.

WhyNotUs
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by WhyNotUs » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:42 pm

I doubt that the Zillow people would expect people to use their algorithm- based valuation to price their unit for sale.
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leehamster
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by leehamster » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:51 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:13 pm
However, you can use these services to get a pretty good idea of what your home is worth just by looking at comps yourself- taking into account list prices as well as time to sell. If a similar house a block away listed for $500k and sold 2 weeks later, that should give you a pretty good idea that your home is worth around $500k. A realtor or professional appraiser will also have access to data on actual sale prices, and can get a more accurate estimate.
Yes, if you want to use Zillow/Trulia as a pricing tool for a particular property, the key is to pick comps from recent sales that most clearly match the home you are pricing. Their tool (https://www.zillow.com/sellerlanding/pricingtool/) gives you 10, also selected by the algorithm, though, so you may not agree with the suggested comps. You can go to the map, filter for recent sales, and find your own comps.

Many factors can make the generalized algorithm more inaccurate. One common one in California is tax assessment distortion from Prop 13. Two identical houses can have wildly different tax assessments, depending only on how long it's been since the last sale.

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leeks
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by leeks » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:07 pm

Not accurate for individual properties in any way. I'd say the market value of typical single-family homes with no special conditions are likely to be within 20% of the estimate, but sometimes even those can be very far off. The estimates are useful for things like comparing different cities/neighborhoods to get a general idea of home prices. Some of those property sites let you map recent sales, I find that much more useful than their estimates or current listing prices.

I would not compare a house with $400K estimate to one with a $450K estimate and assume it would cost less.
But if you see a neighborhood where all the houses are estimated $200-$250K and another where they are all estimated $600-$700K, it is probably safe to assume the houses in the second neighborhood will cost more.

alfaspider
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by alfaspider » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:34 pm

leehamster wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:51 pm
alfaspider wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:13 pm
However, you can use these services to get a pretty good idea of what your home is worth just by looking at comps yourself- taking into account list prices as well as time to sell. If a similar house a block away listed for $500k and sold 2 weeks later, that should give you a pretty good idea that your home is worth around $500k. A realtor or professional appraiser will also have access to data on actual sale prices, and can get a more accurate estimate.
Yes, if you want to use Zillow/Trulia as a pricing tool for a particular property, the key is to pick comps from recent sales that most clearly match the home you are pricing. Their tool (https://www.zillow.com/sellerlanding/pricingtool/) gives you 10, also selected by the algorithm, though, so you may not agree with the suggested comps. You can go to the map, filter for recent sales, and find your own comps.

Many factors can make the generalized algorithm more inaccurate. One common one in California is tax assessment distortion from Prop 13. Two identical houses can have wildly different tax assessments, depending only on how long it's been since the last sale.
I tried that tool for my house out of curiosity and found it pretty useless. Most of the "comps" it picked were either an entirely different class of house (i.e. a newly constructed townhouse vs a 1930s bungalow) or in a totally different neighborhood with drastically lower property values. I was left with a single "comp" that was remotely comparable, but the adjustment factor it applied was ridiculous. It was over 20% off the Redfin estimate (which is probably more ballpark realistic).

Seattler123
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by Seattler123 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:40 pm

Redfin estimates might appear to be more accurate if you go and compare selling price vs redfin estimates for homes that are sold but in reality, Redfin estimates adjust itself based on list price and selling price.
For example, the Redfin estimate for a house might be $700k. If you list it for $800, then it will show as $805k. If the same property gets sold for $900k, the Redfin estimate gets adjusted close to $900k. Even the trend of past redfin estimates gets updated, so if you'll look at the past history of redfin estimate, you wont see the $700k number!

The good thing about Zillow, is it gives you details about 3 different estimates - Estimates based on 'Comparable Homes', 'Local tax assessments', 'Market appreciation'.
Last edited by Seattler123 on Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jharkin
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by jharkin » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:42 pm

I agree with everybody above - "it depends"

Ive notice recently that zillow actually provides 3 different calculations - one based on comps (this appears to be the default), one based on the average sale price to tax assessment ratio, and one based on the average market appreciation for your town.

In the case of my home there is a 25% spread across these 3 different methods, and the comp based value is the lowest. I also trust hte comp method the least because the comps they picked are not really that similar to my house.

Another data point. When I refinanced, the professional appraisal came in something like 60k above zillow.

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Elsebet
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by Elsebet » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:32 pm

Comparison of the values between the 3 sites. I don't want to list the value, so this # is just the difference between my tax appraisal vs. the estimates from each site for my home east of Seattle:

Trulia: +200k
Zillow: +200k
Redfin: -100k

I feel like Redfin is closer to reality than the other two. If someone was willing to give me the Trulia/Zillow price I'd probably move.

Do folks take into account their tax appraisal when estimating equity in their home or just comps?

vested1
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by vested1 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:40 pm

Elsebet wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:32 pm
Comparison of the values between the 3 sites. I don't want to list the value, so this # is just the difference between my tax appraisal vs. the estimates from each site for my home east of Seattle:

Trulia: +200k
Zillow: +200k
Redfin: -100k

I feel like Redfin is closer to reality than the other two. If someone was willing to give me the Trulia/Zillow price I'd probably move.

Do folks take into account their tax appraisal when estimating equity in their home or just comps?


A tax appraisal in California doesn't reflect the true value of the home if the owner has been there a long time due to prop 13, which requires a limit on how much the appraised value can be raised per year. Some States have tax appraisals which are a fraction of the actual value for various reasons particular to each State, so using a tax appraisal for valuation there is useless as well.

Monster99
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by Monster99 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:22 pm

I purchased my house over 30 years ago, so Zillow is not even close - they say it is 2 bedrooms with 1 bath but is really 4 bedrooms with 2 full bathrooms. I bought before tbe internet was wide spread, so I think the numbers are more likely to be accurate if your house has been bought or sold in the last 5 years....

miles monroe
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by miles monroe » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:24 pm

i'd love to sell my house for what zillow tells me it's worth.

orangecrushv
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by orangecrushv » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:41 pm

My house in Dallas is worth $360k per Zillow and Trulia, $403k per Redfin, and was appraised at $388k earlier this year, so yeah they are all over the place...

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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by eddot98 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:05 pm

Zillow and their Zestimate has totally screwed us in marketing our house. Their Zestimate is way too low and our agent has told us that it has been a factor cited by potential buyers when they say why they don’t want to view it.
The house next door sold a year ago for $10,000 less than our Zestimate. This house is half the square footage and has half the number of rooms as our house, it sits on a lot that is 1/3 the size of our lot, and it doesn’t have a garage or any place to put one legally while we have a 2 story barn, 4 single car garages, and a 2 car garage.
The two homes are in comparable condition, but ours is a late Victorian whereas the house next door was built in 1932. By the way, their current Zestimate is $75,000 under the sale price of a year ago.
How they can justify negatively affecting people’s financial interests with their poor Zestimates and get away with it when without our permission is beyond my comprehension.

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teen persuasion
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by teen persuasion » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:06 am

Zillow has mixed up the sale of the farmland next to our house with our property. So our address has a value of $12k (the sale price of the land next door), is noted as unimproved land, but then also notes our garage size, built ~1880, remodeled 1986, etc. Complete gobbledygook.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by tennisplyr » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:09 am

Different methods yield different estimates...no right or wrong.
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stan1
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by stan1 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:47 am

Property value is what a buyer is willing to pay for it, not what the seller thinks it is worth or what Zillow, a real estate agent, the county assessor, or the lender's appraiser says.

The online estimates for our houses have generally been lower than sales price. We had one house with an elevated, panoramic view of the mountains that Zillow had no way of knowing about and our current house is a detached condo (zero lot line detached house) that Zillow' algorithm groups in with other multi-family condo units.

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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by Nowizard » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:24 am

We have had two houses on the market in the past couple of years in different states. In both, Realtors were negative about both Zillow and Trulia estimates, saying that the geographical areas used to create estimates were too broad and diverse. We were with two, very large real estate companies, and neither listed on Zillow or Trulia routinely but would do so if requested. Both preferred Realtor.com and Redfin. One of our houses listed was in a rural area, the other urban.

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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by protagonist » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:57 am

Zillow etc. will give you a vague idea.
Meet with three of the best realtors in your area and interview them.
You are under no obligation- when interviewing realtors most will do a comparative analysis free of charge in hopes of getting your business. They will also probably walk through your home with you, suggest some things, and tell you what they consider a reasonable asking price. You are shopping around- this is normal.
Review the data yourself and decide how much your home is worth and what you want to ask for it.
Then decide whether to hire one of the realtors, go with a fixed price broker who will just list your property but not market it, or do things yourself,
Last edited by protagonist on Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

staythecourse
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by staythecourse » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:20 am

If you have redfin call them up and ask for their free evaluation. It has no strings and is great. They take a look around your property then a couple days later they do all the work and give you an estimate of the house worth in the current climate.

Good luck.
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fposte
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by fposte » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:28 am

Amusingly, Zillow somehow lost my house's second floor a few years ago. You can even see on the valuation graph when it happened. Redfin still believes that I have an upstairs, so their estimate is about 25% higher.

Boston Barry
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by Boston Barry » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:29 am

I contested my property taxes last cycle. A man from the city came over to my house and I showed him around for about 20-30 minutes, after which he told me, “I can classify this house as a type X instead of type Y,” and presto! I saved about 30% on my property taxes! Zillow’s estimate for my home immediately went down about 25-30% after that. I would think the house value would go up if property tax lowered!! So I no longer put any weight to these estimates.

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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by vested1 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:35 am

Nowizard wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:24 am
We have had two houses on the market in the past couple of years in different states. In both, Realtors were negative about both Zillow and Trulia estimates, saying that the geographical areas used to create estimates were too broad and diverse. We were with two, very large real estate companies, and neither listed on Zillow or Trulia routinely but would do so if requested. Both preferred Realtor.com and Redfin. One of our houses listed was in a rural area, the other urban.

Tim
I think that the decision of RE agents to not list on Zillow or Trulia is becoming a trend, which may explain why so many homes in our area that are for sale are not seen as such on those sites. I use Zillow extensively because of the available and easy to use tools, but it makes me wonder how many listings I miss because realtors are trying to avoid the "Zillow Factor".

I suppose many of us fall into the trap of relying too heavily on limited sources of information.

This lack of visibility is a particular problem when considering moving to a distant location. A member here offered to refer me to an honest agent in a certain area of an east coast State where we are thinking of moving. Other than that, how do you find an agent whom you can trust when you're thousands of miles away?

thatme
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by thatme » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:48 am

I think it can depend heavily on how cookie cutter your neighborhood is. In my old neighborhood, which was older homes, quite varied, Redfin and Zillow were more than $100K off — I had also done a lot of updating to the house, which it obviously didn’t know about. In my current neighborhood, cookie cutter suburbia, I think both are very close to actual value because the comps are all so similar. So YMMV.
Last edited by thatme on Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by CULater » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:48 am

Got a professional appraisal of my condo in Phoenix and it was right where the Zillow estimate was. How many of you have compared Zillow to a professional appraisal? A real estate agent's estimate isn't the gold standard.
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by thatme » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:49 am

staythecourse wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:20 am
If you have redfin call them up and ask for their free evaluation. It has no strings and is great. They take a look around your property then a couple days later they do all the work and give you an estimate of the house worth in the current climate.

Good luck.

I sold my last house, and bought my last two houses, using a Redfin agent. I think they did a great job, and for much less than a typical full-service broker. I honestly don’t know what else they could have done to be “full service.” Highly recommend them if they’re in your area.

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kenyan
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by kenyan » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:08 am

Zillow's estimate for my house is stubbornly low, and has been since even before I bought it. I think that part of the problem is that they keep grabbing comps from an adjacent city that has much worse schools (and house prices typically at least 20-30% less).

Redfin's seem closer, but might be a tad high.
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by Trism » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:18 am

Going to one of these sites to get your home value is like going to Credit Karma to get your credit score. Your cost is even the same.

johan851
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by johan851 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:38 am

There's some good information on the zestimate here, including some info on its accuracy: https://www.zillow.com/zestimate/

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jfn111
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by jfn111 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:44 am

The more houses in an area have that have sold the closer the estimate is to reality. The cookie cutter house in my neighborhood is a 3 bedroom rambler built in the 50's. The prices range from $220's to $270 depending on condition and upgrades. Zillow will say most houses are worth $240. Not horrible, but needs to be adjusted to the Individual house.

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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by alfaspider » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:48 am

CULater wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:48 am
Got a professional appraisal of my condo in Phoenix and it was right where the Zillow estimate was. How many of you have compared Zillow to a professional appraisal? A real estate agent's estimate isn't the gold standard.
The Zillow estimate for my house is almost $200k less than the last professional appraisal from when I refinanced 3 years ago, and prices have gone up in the neighborhood since then.

staythecourse
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by staythecourse » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:23 pm

thatme wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:49 am
staythecourse wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:20 am
If you have redfin call them up and ask for their free evaluation. It has no strings and is great. They take a look around your property then a couple days later they do all the work and give you an estimate of the house worth in the current climate.

Good luck.

I sold my last house, and bought my last two houses, using a Redfin agent. I think they did a great job, and for much less than a typical full-service broker. I honestly don’t know what else they could have done to be “full service.” Highly recommend them if they’re in your area.
Agreed. I sold my last house on my own, but if I was to do it again I would just pay them to do all the work. The amount I saved was really not worth the hassle vs. just using them. Why ANYONE would use a full commission agent over them makes no sense to me.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by protagonist » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:30 pm

protagonist wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:57 am
Zillow etc. will give you a vague idea.
Meet with three of the best realtors in your area and interview them.
You are under no obligation- when interviewing realtors most will do a comparative analysis free of charge in hopes of getting your business. They will also probably walk through your home with you, suggest some things, and tell you what they consider a reasonable asking price. You are shopping around- this is normal.
Review the data yourself and decide how much your home is worth and what you want to ask for it.
Then decide whether to hire one of the realtors, go with aflat fee broker who will just list your property but not market it, or do things yourself,

I used a flat fee broker to sell my home in FL earlier this year. I accepted an offer within about 2 weeks that was in the same ballpark as the recommended sales prices I received from brokers. It saved me thousands of dollars....and that was a relatively cheap condo.

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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by KyleAAA » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:32 pm

Zillow publishes their error rates by zip code and I believe redfin does the same. Redfin has direct access to MLS data whereas Zillow and Trulia don't, so I tend to trust redfin a bit more. I think they all tend to be fairly accurate in normal markets, but in extremely hot or cold markets they are bound to be off since the data is changing faster than they can rationalize it.

https://www.zillow.com/zestimate/

I personally take an average of a few different sites for the purposes of calculating net worth every year.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by KyleAAA » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:39 pm

eddot98 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:05 pm
Zillow and their Zestimate has totally screwed us in marketing our house. Their Zestimate is way too low and our agent has told us that it has been a factor cited by potential buyers when they say why they don’t want to view it.
The house next door sold a year ago for $10,000 less than our Zestimate. This house is half the square footage and has half the number of rooms as our house, it sits on a lot that is 1/3 the size of our lot, and it doesn’t have a garage or any place to put one legally while we have a 2 story barn, 4 single car garages, and a 2 car garage.
The two homes are in comparable condition, but ours is a late Victorian whereas the house next door was built in 1932. By the way, their current Zestimate is $75,000 under the sale price of a year ago.
How they can justify negatively affecting people’s financial interests with their poor Zestimates and get away with it when without our permission is beyond my comprehension.
You can correct the data in Zillow, which I would imagine would help if it doesn't have accurate square footage or lot size.

EinAustin
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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by EinAustin » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:03 pm

I'm a real estate broker and thought it would be interesting to look at the Zestimate history for a home that closed today.

9/30 - Zestimate was $421k.
10/19 - Home was listed for $510k.
10/31 - Zestimate increased to $482k.
11/15 - Sold for $513k.

Something I thought was interesting is the comparable homes they were using.
There were 3 other homes with the same floorplan in this section of the neighborhood that sold this year.
The first was a FSBO and the owner said he sold it for $440,000. Zillow was showing that as a comparable property.
The other 2 homes with the same floorpan I was the listing agent for and sold for $501k and $504k. Neither of those were listed as comparable properties. All 4 of these homes have the same floorplan, same schools and are the same age.

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Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Post by Marylander1 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:26 pm

In my area, Zillow data is junk. It has one combined price for my house and three neighbors. The property tax people and post office have no trouble telling us apart.

Marylander1

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