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What You Need to Know About Zestimates

Mark Brace

#1 Real Estate Team in Grand Rapids (source: Wall Street Journal -Realtrends 2019)! Born & raised in Forest Hills, my passion for Grand Rapids sta...

#1 Real Estate Team in Grand Rapids (source: Wall Street Journal -Realtrends 2019)! Born & raised in Forest Hills, my passion for Grand Rapids sta...

Dec 10 3 minutes read

Here’s the truth everyone needs to know about Zillow’s Zestimates.

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The popular real estate website Zillow has a feature called a Zestimate, which are computer-based algorithms that take available public information about your home to formulate a guess as to your property’s market value.

This reveals an inherent flaw in the Zestimate: There’s only so much information that the website has access to, they’ve never seen the interior of the home, and they couldn’t possibly know all the work that has been put into the home to increase its value. Also, as an algorithm, it can’t account for current market rates or conditions that affect a home’s price.

"On average, Zillow’s Zestimates are off by more than 10%."

For example, Zillow wouldn’t know that a house down the street stank like cat urine or that a house two doors over just put in a $150,000, brand-new kitchen—both are factors that could very well affect the price for which those homes would sell.

What’s more, Zillow as an entity is aware of the inaccuracy of their Zestimates. On average, Zillow’s Zestimates are off by more than 10%. That means if you have a $500,000 house, the website could tell you that it’s worth anywhere between $450,000 and $550,000.

It’s unfortunate to see people putting so much stock into their Zestimates. Now more than ever, you need a professional real estate agent who knows what homes in your area are selling for and can give you a real, market-based estimated price range for your property.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, I encourage you to reach out to us. We’d love to dive into the details of your home’s features so that we can give you an accurate estimation of your home’s market value.

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