Value of Zillow house price estimate

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SteadyOne
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Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by SteadyOne » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 pm

I wonder what the actual Zillow‘s estimate value is for the house seller. My property was listed with a wrong footage and some other attributes were incorrect for many years and I didn’t pay attention. However as a result, the property is shown on the site below market I think

I’m not sure if I have to do anything about it and believe prospective buyers do not care since they will see for themselves the house and probably will go through professional appraisal if I decide to sell.

Also I’m not sure if I start tinkering with Zillow or similar it will have any impact on property tax. County didn’t bother me about it prior so I’m not sure if this will bring attention to the fact.

Any thoughts would be appreciated

mchampse
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by mchampse » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:21 pm

Garbage in, garbage out. Zillow doesn’t have accurate details of all of the houses that sell or your own house. On one hand, it may simply have details wrong. On the other, it can’t account for things like views, light, small or odd shaped rooms, etc. Zillow once told me that a property I had bought a year prior had almost doubled in value. Not likely.

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lthenderson
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:23 pm

SteadyOne wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 pm
the property is shown on the site below market I think
I wouldn't put to much faith in the zillow estimate. I bought our current house for 40% less than the zestimate.

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CAsage
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by CAsage » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:24 pm

While Zillow is by no means binding or accurate... if the information is impacting your potential value, I would get it fixed. People tend to price things by the first number that gets stuck in their heads - so if they look it up, and it's lowball, they will tend to resist paying more. There are other property sites (Redfin?) that might also be worth looking into. If I was selling, I'd do what I could to look good.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

quantAndHold
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:28 pm

If you're listing a house, Zillow picks up the data from the MLS service. We sold a house that Zillow had the wrong square footage on, among other problems. When we listed it, the realtor put correct data in the MLS listing. Zillow picked it up all the corrected data from the listing the next day.

We didn't find that buyers paid much attention to the computer generated valuations. They cared more about how the house compared to other houses that were on the market at the same time. Our house sold for about 30% more than Zillow's estimate, if that matters.

Your property tax assessor doesn't give two hoots about what Zillow says. Zillow, on the other hand, does list property tax assessments on its site if they can get the data. Regardless, property tax assessments and market value rarely have much to do with each other.

FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:34 pm

We made an offer on a house a couple years ago. We backed out four several reasons, one of which was the Zillow information was more accurate than the inflated square footage listed by the sellers. I know because I measured.

Zillow pulls its data from the county or whatever municipality provides publicly available data. If you think Zillow underestimates your square footage, I recommend you verify what your municipality has on file. A previous owner might have had non-permitted work performed or finished a basement without recording it to avoid property taxes.

If you don't want to investigate the discrepancy don't be surprised if a well-informed buyer does.

jminv
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by jminv » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:38 pm

SteadyOne wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 pm
I wonder what the actual Zillow‘s estimate value is for the house seller. My property was listed with a wrong footage and some other attributes were incorrect for many years and I didn’t pay attention. However as a result, the property is shown on the site below market I think

I’m not sure if I have to do anything about it and believe prospective buyers do not care since they will see for themselves the house and probably will go through professional appraisal if I decide to sell.

Also I’m not sure if I start tinkering with Zillow or similar it will have any impact on property tax. County didn’t bother me about it prior so I’m not sure if this will bring attention to the fact.

Any thoughts would be appreciated
You will find a lot of replies here that poo hoo zillow, but buyers do look there and it has a valid basis. The anectodal stories about where it's wrong don't take away from the fact that people look at houses on Zillow and look to it as a guide to pricing. Besides the Zillow estimate, there's also a zillow range. If you keep it as is and your pricing is far above the Zillow estimate or zillow range just due to correctable erros, some number of people are not going to take an interest in your house in the first place.

Also, why is there an error in the square footage? Is it actually an error with the city/county records, based on your own interpretation of the square footage and not what's allowable, or because you have unpermitted additions?

A 'professional' appraiser is normally something that comes in after they've made an offer. People make offers based on comparable sales and zillow makes this pretty simple. Otherwise you're relying on another site (redfin for example, which always seems higher than zillow), your real estate agent to do the comparable analysis, or some gut feeling. Where Zillow doesn't work very well is if there aren't many comparable homes nearby, if there are inaccuracies in its description, and in some areas if you've been artificially supressing its taxable value by contesting it for years. Zillow and others like it are better than alternatives and people make offers on homes before a mortgage appraisal is done, not after. A real estate agent could do a comparable sales analysis but that's basically what zillow does anyway.

In any case, it's simple to update your home's features and correct inaccuracies in size so I would do it. No excuse not to really and it's important to your marketing. Below is Zillow's instructions on how to go about it - it'll take you a couple of minutes to complete:
https://zillow.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/art ... f-my-home-

megabad
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by megabad » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:29 pm

SteadyOne wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 pm
I wonder what the actual Zillow‘s estimate value is for the house seller. My property was listed with a wrong footage and some other attributes were incorrect for many years and I didn’t pay attention. However as a result, the property is shown on the site below market I think

I’m not sure if I have to do anything about it and believe prospective buyers do not care since they will see for themselves the house and probably will go through professional appraisal if I decide to sell.

Also I’m not sure if I start tinkering with Zillow or similar it will have any impact on property tax. County didn’t bother me about it prior so I’m not sure if this will bring attention to the fact.

Any thoughts would be appreciated
Zillow is about +/- 15% in my area with several caveats. Your house must be one of a bunch of cookie cutters in that area that have recent comps. Your house must be of similar condition/quality to those cookie cutter comps. Anything that is in very poor condition will be way off the charts on Zillow. Basically, for most houses in developments less than 40 years old, it is pretty close in my area. Any old neighborhoods or custom homes and it is totally worthless. The details listed on Zillow don't matter as they would be updated when you sold your house (presumably to the correct values) as long as you use all proper listing services.

Personally, I don't care about small discrepancies in square footage since I just look at the tax assessment anyway (since realtors tend to "embellish"). Obviously a huge discrepancy could prevent folks from even seeing your house in a search though, but I can't imagine you would allow your realtor to mess that up at the time when you are selling. Basically the only time I directly mess with Zillow is when I am renting.

cashmoney
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by cashmoney » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:48 pm

megabad wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:29 pm
SteadyOne wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 pm
I wonder what the actual Zillow‘s estimate value is for the house seller. My property was listed with a wrong footage and some other attributes were incorrect for many years and I didn’t pay attention. However as a result, the property is shown on the site below market I think

I’m not sure if I have to do anything about it and believe prospective buyers do not care since they will see for themselves the house and probably will go through professional appraisal if I decide to sell.

Also I’m not sure if I start tinkering with Zillow or similar it will have any impact on property tax. County didn’t bother me about it prior so I’m not sure if this will bring attention to the fact.

Any thoughts would be appreciated
Zillow is about +/- 15% in my area with several caveats. Your house must be one of a bunch of cookie cutters in that area that have recent comps. Your house must be of similar condition/quality to those cookie cutter comps. Anything that is in very poor condition will be way off the charts on Zillow. Basically, for most houses in developments less than 40 years old, it is pretty close in my area. Any old neighborhoods or custom homes and it is totally worthless. The details listed on Zillow don't matter as they would be updated when you sold your house (presumably to the correct values) as long as you use all proper listing services.

Personally, I don't care about small discrepancies in square footage since I just look at the tax assessment anyway (since realtors tend to "embellish"). Obviously a huge discrepancy could prevent folks from even seeing your house in a search though, but I can't imagine you would allow your realtor to mess that up at the time when you are selling. Basically the only time I directly mess with Zillow is when I am renting.



I got my taxes lowered because county assessment was including 200 garage sq footage as part of area under heating/ac which its not.I wish I would have measured it before I bought the house and paid inflated tax bill for years. Zillow did lower their estimate accordingly soon after .

prairieman
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by prairieman » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:49 pm

I do look up my house price on Zillow every month or so and noticed that prices go up or down with the market but there are other significant wiggles that occur quite randomly. We went through a major $70,000 remodel and shortly after I watched the Zestimate drop by $20,000. Later, our assessed value did reflect the updates we made and increased quite a bit. The Zestimate value eventually appeared eventually to catch up with that change.

JackoC
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by JackoC » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:09 pm

jminv wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:38 pm
SteadyOne wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 pm
I wonder what the actual Zillow‘s estimate value is for the house seller. My property was listed with a wrong footage and some other attributes were incorrect for many years and I didn’t pay attention. However as a result, the property is shown on the site below market I think
You will find a lot of replies here that poo hoo zillow, but buyers do look there and it has a valid basis. The anectodal stories about where it's wrong don't take away from the fact that people look at houses on Zillow and look to it as a guide to pricing. Besides the Zillow estimate, there's also a zillow range. If you keep it as is and your pricing is far above the Zillow estimate or zillow range just due to correctable erros, some number of people are not going to take an interest in your house in the first place.
I agree ZIllow matters, at the very least, because buyers and sellers look at it. My anecdotes on Zillow are mixed. Last year we considered selling a rental property that's single family, so on Zillow. The Zestimate was quite far off, too high, it turned out from studying real comps. And in this case of course it's the *seller*, me, having to be convinced that that was true. But when I've studied comps for our own house over the years v Zillow it's generally seemed pretty close. Sometimes Zillow will warp out and give strange results for a particular property then they'll fix it and not only the Zestimate but history of the Zestimate will change. Unless you looked at while it was warped out, you wouldn't know. Back to our rental, after we had it had on the market at a realistic price (but then decided to pull it and re-rent it), the Zestimate came back into line.

I also completely agree on the secondary point that if Zillow has demonstrable errors about the property which make the Zestimate low, and you're trying to sell it, you should get them corrected, not just say 'oh that's Zilow everybody knows they're always wrong'. Everybody doesn't know that, nor is it necessarily close to being true, though sometimes they are pretty far off.

Nowizard
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by Nowizard » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:45 am

Accuracy varies due to Zestimates being based on a specific, geographical area. If the area is broad, as existed with a home we previously owned, they may be inaccurate. If a compact, dense area, they are more accurate. Zillow and Trulia are owned by the same people, but their estimates will vary. Our recent realtor's company does not put houses for sale on Zillow due to inaccuracy but will if requested.

Tim

FireProof
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by FireProof » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:17 pm

They seem a bit volatile. Mine has gone down $800,000 in 9 months. In the same period, Redfin went down about $100,000. Zillow is still higher...

tmcc
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by tmcc » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:18 pm

JackoC wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:09 pm
jminv wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:38 pm
SteadyOne wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 pm
I wonder what the actual Zillow‘s estimate value is for the house seller. My property was listed with a wrong footage and some other attributes were incorrect for many years and I didn’t pay attention. However as a result, the property is shown on the site below market I think
You will find a lot of replies here that poo hoo zillow, but buyers do look there and it has a valid basis. The anectodal stories about where it's wrong don't take away from the fact that people look at houses on Zillow and look to it as a guide to pricing. Besides the Zillow estimate, there's also a zillow range. If you keep it as is and your pricing is far above the Zillow estimate or zillow range just due to correctable erros, some number of people are not going to take an interest in your house in the first place.
Sometimes Zillow will warp out and give strange results for a particular property then they'll fix it and not only the Zestimate but history of the Zestimate will change. Unless you looked at while it was warped out, you wouldn't know. Back to our rental, after we had it had on the market at a realistic price (but then decided to pull it and re-rent it), the Zestimate came back into line.

Both Zillow and Redfin did the same thing on my primary residence property. If you can just recast history, the estimate means nothing.

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llama
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by llama » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:34 pm

In my net worth spreadsheet, I use the Zestimate minus 10%. I take the value with a huge grain of salt, but it's been pretty close for the last two houses I've sold.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:00 pm

Zillow estimates are an excellent value for the price. Indeed, I think they are worth several times the price paid.

As far as accuracy- my guess is sometimes OK, and possibly off by +/- 50 % in some cases.

Golf maniac
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by Golf maniac » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:45 pm

Zillow is like anything else, it is only a tool to use and shouldn’t be the only thing you look at. Recent comps for similar homes should be what buyers and sellers look at along with recent market trends,

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jfn111
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by jfn111 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:25 pm

A lot of my buyers use Zillow search to look at houses. I have never had one that brought up the Zestimate when making an offer. I have had a number of sellers get stressed out because of a low Zestimate.
As adamthesmythe said- the Zestimates are worth what you paid for them.

3-20Characters
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by 3-20Characters » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:37 pm

Zillow came up with an accurate estimate for our house when we sold it. We had a real estate agent do a market evaluation and we then made the decision on listing price based the agent’s price range.

For anyone who hasn’t bought or sold a home in a long while, this is what came as surprise to us. A lot of the price adjustments these days get done after the inspection. Inspections are now many hours long and performed by a team of experts who always come up with things that “need” to get fixed. It’s up to the buyer and seller to decide what’s negotiable at that point. When we bought our home, the inspection was more or less a rubber stamp with a list of stuff to attend to down the road—not a negotiation tactic.

cherijoh
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by cherijoh » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:43 pm

SteadyOne wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 pm
I wonder what the actual Zillow‘s estimate value is for the house seller. My property was listed with a wrong footage and some other attributes were incorrect for many years and I didn’t pay attention. However as a result, the property is shown on the site below market I think

I’m not sure if I have to do anything about it and believe prospective buyers do not care since they will see for themselves the house and probably will go through professional appraisal if I decide to sell.

Also I’m not sure if I start tinkering with Zillow or similar it will have any impact on property tax. County didn’t bother me about it prior so I’m not sure if this will bring attention to the fact.

Any thoughts would be appreciated
Just checking to make sure you realize that it is heated square footage, so a garage or unfinished basement doesn't count.

JackoC
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by JackoC » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:52 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:43 pm
SteadyOne wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 pm
I wonder what the actual Zillow‘s estimate value is for the house seller. My property was listed with a wrong footage and some other attributes were incorrect for many years and I didn’t pay attention. However as a result, the property is shown on the site below market I think
Just checking to make sure you realize that it is heated square footage, so a garage or unfinished basement doesn't count.
What's on Zillow AFAIK is virtually always what's in public records. I agree the general convention for house size would omit spaces like that, but the public record of our house's sq footage for example used to include the unfinished basement, and so did Zillow. Later the city standardized the measurement as not including it, during a general clean up of the records along with a reassessment, and now Zillow has the new number.

On 'Zestimate is worth what you pay for it', that's all folksy and maybe clever the first time, though not as much the fourth or fifth time :happy . But I don't agree it's actually true. For example Zillow didn't automatically lower the value of our house when the official sq footage was reduced. Their algorithm seemed capable of dealing with that correctly. Again I've observed it for years now in our area and including wrt to rental properties so business not just pleasure and it's fallible, certainly, but not nearly worth zero.

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teen persuasion
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by teen persuasion » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:10 pm

LOL, I was *just* looking on Zillow - I was curious to see what an abandoned old hotel had sold for ( I was surprised when the sold sign went up). Zillow couldn't place it properly on the map (showed the property on North <street name> instead of <street name>, and listed the value at $283k, up $18k in the last month! Yeah, there's nothing in the village that pricey.

Searched address again by the realtor, and found it sold for $7k a few days ago. Definitely the same property - not many any other 10,000 sq ft properties on that street. That was basically the only bit of info Zillow had correct.

geospatial
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by geospatial » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:18 am

llama wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:34 pm
In my net worth spreadsheet, I use the Zestimate minus 10%. I take the value with a huge grain of salt, but it's been pretty close for the last two houses I've sold.
When I do bi-annual updates of my net worth calculations, I end up taking the average of the Zillow and Redfin estimates, and subtracting 10% from that. Arbitrary, but it's something that I feel is on the more realistic or even conservative side than just taking those values as is.

FI4LIFE
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by FI4LIFE » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:30 am

I found my house on Zillow listed under "pre-forclosure". After many phone calls and emails to both Zillow and my mortgage company as well as a trip to town hall I could not figure out why it was listed there. Zillow was very non-committal in their responses. Since then I am distrustful of anything I find on the site.

miamivice
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by miamivice » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:35 am

Observation: "everyone" on this thread seems to think the data is just garbage, but at the same time "everyone" also knows exactly what their Zestimate is according to Zillow.

So despite the consensus that the number isn't purposeful, people still check Zillow all the time.

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El Greco
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by El Greco » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:54 am

How much is a Zillow house price estimate worth? A little less than a plugged nickel.

mervinj7
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by mervinj7 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:09 am

miamivice wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:35 am
Observation: "everyone" on this thread seems to think the data is just garbage, but at the same time "everyone" also knows exactly what their Zestimate is according to Zillow.

So despite the consensus that the number isn't purposeful, people still check Zillow all the time.
+1 Everybody I know that bought their house in the Bay Area used both Zillow AND Redfin at some point during their buying season. At the very least, these sites are relatively straightforward ways to quickly search multiple listings, see comparable sales, and check relevant school data. We can sit and argue over whether every detail is accurate or not but it doesn't change the fact the both buyers and sellers are using Redfin/Zillow.
For those that are selling their homes, I strongly suggest you get any inaccurate data on Zillow corrected at the source (e.g. county data, MLS listing).

IMO
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by IMO » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:17 am

Was listening to a recent Clark Howard podcast and he talked about companies that will offer to buy your house basically sight unseen (not full market value but as a compromise to not deal with the hassle of having to list a house).

He mentioned they use algorithms like Zillow that do tend to work well in many areas with planned subdivisions where there are typically only a limited number of home models a community (more common in West/Mountain West/Southwest than East Coast).

I've found that for Zillow/Trulia both seem to provide pretty reasonable estimates in those situations. What is helpful also is to look at any active listings in the area to verify if the estimate actually reasonable. Really it is an incredible tool if planning on selling or buying to be able to sit at one's computer, look at the stats, and take a virtual walk through multiple listed properties in your area of interest and/or to find out what a property sold for in the past to see the trend (presuming that is public data). That would have taken a great deal of time/effort in the past.

I've found those sites also reasonable for real estate in areas not specifically in planned communities in SoCal and some other non-planned communities to be reasonable. However, I could see how it could be very off in many areas.

I'm not sure what metric one is using for accuracy, i.e. is is with 5%, 10%, etc? I'm personally fine presuming 10-15% accuracy. The only way to really know what one's property is worth would require one to list and sell the home. I do hear from an appraiser that people tend to overestimate their home's value (based on comparable evaluations done by professional appraiser). This issue can create problems with things like mortgage funding/final sales price, etc.

SchruteB&B
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by SchruteB&B » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:55 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:28 pm

Your property tax assessor doesn't give two hoots about what Zillow says. Zillow, on the other hand, does list property tax assessments on its site if they can get the data. Regardless, property tax assessments and market value rarely have much to do with each other.
Probably in general it is true you property tax assessor doesn’t care about Zillow, but there was a big scandal in Cook County/Chicago last year because the assessor WAS using Zillow to set property assessments.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/investig ... story.html

And in my county, the property assessment IS supposed to reflect market value. It actually says “market value” right on the tax bill. I appealed and won last year because the appraisal I got on my house was $120,000 les than the market value the assessor gave.

montanagirl
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by montanagirl » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:20 pm

I looked at ours yesterday and it was pretty funny. The facts were wrong, and I guess they're still wrong at the County, which has me scratching my head because I swear we had some permitted work done that should show up.

I figure I'll sell for the tax value when the time comes anyway and be done with it. If I can find a buyer. :|

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Elsebet
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by Elsebet » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:47 pm

The Zillow estimate for my home is over 200k higher than the Redfin estimate. For my equity calculation I use a value a little lower than the low range of the Redfin estimate. If someone were honestly willing to buy my home for the Zillow price I'd sell to them immediately and move to a cheaper state!
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca

miles monroe
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by miles monroe » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:18 pm

if zillow would buy my house for what they say it's worth, i'd sell to em in a heartbeat!

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Sandtrap
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:36 pm

SteadyOne wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 pm
I wonder what the actual Zillow‘s estimate value is for the house seller. My property was listed with a wrong footage and some other attributes were incorrect for many years and I didn’t pay attention. However as a result, the property is shown on the site below market I think

I’m not sure if I have to do anything about it and believe prospective buyers do not care since they will see for themselves the house and probably will go through professional appraisal if I decide to sell.

Also I’m not sure if I start tinkering with Zillow or similar it will have any impact on property tax. County didn’t bother me about it prior so I’m not sure if this will bring attention to the fact.

Any thoughts would be appreciated
Zillow is a R/E marketing site. There's no relationship to that and your property tax assessments.

Tinker away at Zillow if you feel it might benefit your sale, bring more potential buyers in, and so forth.

However, as to the actual value of your home, that is based on much more than what's on Zillow.

j :happy
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JackoC
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by JackoC » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:17 pm

SchruteB&B wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:55 am
quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:28 pm

Your property tax assessor doesn't give two hoots about what Zillow says. Zillow, on the other hand, does list property tax assessments on its site if they can get the data. Regardless, property tax assessments and market value rarely have much to do with each other.
Probably in general it is true you property tax assessor doesn’t care about Zillow, but there was a big scandal in Cook County/Chicago last year because the assessor WAS using Zillow to set property assessments.
I actually wonder how true that is anymore even in general. When our city reassessed at market a few years ago after no reassessment for 20+ yrs* the new assessed value for our house came out quite close to what Zillow was saying just before that. So in that case either the assessors did give two hoots what Zillow said, or else the Zestimate wasn't 'worth what you pay for it'. It could not have been true in that case both that assessors didn't care what Zillow said *and* what ZIllow said was worthless. And again in general Zillow's numbers are fallible but not worthless IME, interesting to me that the latter seems to be so commonly/firmly believed here. Whereas I don't know how much Zillow has come to influence assessors but I don't think that can be ruled out as a possibility even where it hasn't been proved.

*I own rental props in other municipalities in the area where even much older 'assessed' values are sometimes a few % of market. So sure, stale assessed values don't necessarily have anything to do with market value, but new reassessments are almost always supposed to be at market.

strafe
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by strafe » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:51 pm

For what it’s worth, when buying our last home, I made a simple regression model of comparable home sales in the neighborhood. The model was within spitting distance of Zillow.

Keep in mind the 50% confidence interval for the Z-estimate is enormous. Look at the Z estimate range for your house. There is only a 50% chance that range includes the “true” value of the property.

Archimedes
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by Archimedes » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:10 pm

My home:

Zillow 3.2MM
Redfin 1.7MM
Trulia 2.4MM
County appraiser: 1.5MM

So, do the roboappraisers know what they are talking about? Absolutely not!

PartIrish
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by PartIrish » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:55 pm

The algorithm-driven estimates on Zillow, Redfin and similar sites are volatile and unreliable. We have owned several properties as investments over the years, and I have found the most accurate measure is to look at recent sales of similar homes in your immediate area. The median sold price and median sold price per square foot will provide the closest estimate of value for your property. It's important to objectively evaluate whether your home will likely sell above, below, or at the median values of sold properties. Note: Redfin uses the term "average" sold price, but it is in fact the median.

strafe
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by strafe » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:56 pm

Archimedes wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:10 pm
My home:

Zillow 3.2MM
Redfin 1.7MM
Trulia 2.4MM
County appraiser: 1.5MM

So, do the roboappraisers know what they are talking about? Absolutely not!
Predicting sale prices is more reliable for ordinary homes. The market for mansions is thin and prices volatile, dependent on the whims of a few buyers/sellers.

What is the true value of your home?

JackoC
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by JackoC » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:37 pm

Archimedes wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:10 pm
My home:

Zillow 3.2MM
Redfin 1.7MM
Trulia 2.4MM
County appraiser: 1.5MM

So, do the roboappraisers know what they are talking about? Absolutely not!
For my house Zillow and Trulia differ by 0.5%, in same general price range. But I guess if I offered that as evidence that they aren't completely full of it surely someone would point out that Zillow and Trulia are now affiliated companies. Redfin's estimate is 12% lower than Zillow's. It could also depend on the location as well as price range, level of activity in the market, how similar/dissimilar various properties in an area are. I could see how houses in our area might be relatively easier than some though fairly unusual in price nationally because similar 'brownstone' types concentrated in what's basically the same location for attractiveness of location, similar construction and appearance, mostly built from 1880's to 1901, sizes vary but that's easy to correct for, frequent sales in the population. The main variable is degree of original good condition or alternatively how extensive renovation. And it's not super hard to get some estimate of that from comparing single family sales (some of the same buildings are 2-3 families but the more subdivided ones are pretty consistently in worse shape inside than the 1 fams), and tracking add on assessments the city makes if you put major money into renovation.

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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by FourWallsofFIRE » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:56 pm

I find that Zillow fluctuates drastically based on house sales in your area. With that being said, I live in a neighborhood of townhouses that sell for around $285,000. There are several single family home neighborhoods within a quarter mile and those houses sell from $400-600,000. When one of those sells, our price jumps a bit. When a TH sells for below average, we drop.

Zillow CAN be accurate, but it's more than likely off by at least a little.

Hope this helps.
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Archimedes
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by Archimedes » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:42 am

strafe wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:56 pm
Archimedes wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:10 pm
My home:

Zillow 3.2MM
Redfin 1.7MM
Trulia 2.4MM
County appraiser: 1.5MM

So, do the roboappraisers know what they are talking about? Absolutely not!
Predicting sale prices is more reliable for ordinary homes. The market for mansions is thin and prices volatile, dependent on the whims of a few buyers/sellers.

What is the true value of your home?
The true value of my home is what a willing buyer would pay. I paid 1.3MM. We live in a VHCOL city, and many homes regularly and continuously sell in the 1-2 million range. As you get over 2 million, the market gets thinner. I would estimate that my home would sell in the current market in the 2 to 2.5 MM range. However, I think the roboappraisers are quite inaccurate even in the 1-2 MM homes in this area as the homes around here are most often unique in their age, condition, amenities and views.

rollingstones 321
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by rollingstones 321 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:29 pm

Zillow does not take into account new construction versus re-sales. They calculate price per sq ft. There is a price inflation in the Z estimate for homes in an area where here is lots of new construction.

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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by abuss368 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:40 pm

SteadyOne wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 pm
I wonder what the actual Zillow‘s estimate value is for the house seller. My property was listed with a wrong footage and some other attributes were incorrect for many years and I didn’t pay attention. However as a result, the property is shown on the site below market I think

I’m not sure if I have to do anything about it and believe prospective buyers do not care since they will see for themselves the house and probably will go through professional appraisal if I decide to sell.

Also I’m not sure if I start tinkering with Zillow or similar it will have any impact on property tax. County didn’t bother me about it prior so I’m not sure if this will bring attention to the fact.

Any thoughts would be appreciated
My experience with Zillow has been mixed. Homes that I am very confident in value are sometimes higher (or lower) on Zillow. Not sure. It may be one tool but not the gospel.
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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by pennywise » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:49 pm

SteadyOne wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 pm
I wonder what the actual Zillow‘s estimate value is for the house seller. My property was listed with a wrong footage and some other attributes were incorrect for many years and I didn’t pay attention. However as a result, the property is shown on the site below market I think

I’m not sure if I have to do anything about it and believe prospective buyers do not care since they will see for themselves the house and probably will go through professional appraisal if I decide to sell.

Also I’m not sure if I start tinkering with Zillow or similar it will have any impact on property tax. County didn’t bother me about it prior so I’m not sure if this will bring attention to the fact.

Any thoughts would be appreciated
I just experienced exactly this situation. The Zillow value of my house fluctuated up and down, and I never cared because it wasn't on the market. I'd check occasionally just to see what was happening with the estimate.

Until we were ready to list the house this spring. Then I went on Zillow and was shocked to see that in ~ 8 weeks the Zillow estimated value had dropped 10% which was close to $100K. I also noticed that somehow the square footage had changed, it was now listed as 1/3 smaller than the actual size of the house. It was clearly a typo/misprint; the size of my house is 2969 SF and the size listed was 2069 SF. I went into the site as an owner and adjusted that, then sent an email to the Zillow customer support address to point out the error and ask for a review and adjustment of the online display now that the size was correct. Got back a very generic 'Zillow value reflects blah blah blah" basically telling me they put up values they wanted to put up and their responsibility was whatever their legal counsel office had decided to write in response to angry people about to list their houses.

Our realtor, who is very knowledgeable about the area, listed the house for what she advised was a reasonable price-and suddenly the Zillow value shot up as well. The house sold for just over asking price after a frantic 2-day market listing and several offers. Zillow value is now within 5% (lower) of the sales price.

Moral of the story: you can adjust the Zillow parameters, Zillow isn't likely to dial in the accurate true value instantly to reflect the correction and it probably doesn't matter in the end anyway :D

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Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

Post by grabiner » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:02 pm

pennywise wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:49 pm
I just experienced exactly this situation. The Zillow value of my house fluctuated up and down, and I never cared because it wasn't on the market. I'd check occasionally just to see what was happening with the estimate.

Until we were ready to list the house this spring. Then I went on Zillow and was shocked to see that in ~ 8 weeks the Zillow estimated value had dropped 10% which was close to $100K. I also noticed that somehow the square footage had changed, it was now listed as 1/3 smaller than the actual size of the house. It was clearly a typo/misprint; the size of my house is 2969 SF and the size listed was 2069 SF. I went into the site as an owner and adjusted that, then sent an email to the Zillow customer support address to point out the error and ask for a review and adjustment of the online display now that the size was correct. Got back a very generic 'Zillow value reflects blah blah blah" basically telling me they put up values they wanted to put up and their responsibility was whatever their legal counsel office had decided to write in response to angry people about to list their houses.
Zillow should be willing to make a correction, given the official documentation.

I discovered that my home was listed as having been sold twice for the same amount, once on the day I closed, and once on the day the deed was recorded. Zillow asked me for a copy of the deed, and upon receiving that copy, they removed the erroneous sale. (Zillow's source for the incorrect sale was the county records, which are still wrong; the county shows the house as being sold only once, but on the date the deed was recorded.)
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