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Why Zestimates are Wrong, Most of the Time

Let’s face it. Zillow does a great job of marketing to consumers. The user friendliness of the site, as well as a multi-million dollar marketing budget is what keeps driving buyers and sellers to the site. Even with the availability of hundreds, if not thousands, of licensed, professional market experts right there at every consumer’s fingertips… the would-be buyer and seller put their blind faith into an algorithm based advertising portal based somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

It’s not that the consumer truly believes that Zillow is the best source for the information they are looking for. It’s a matter of how fast and easy they make the information available. We are all searching for ways to reduce time spent on projects and reduce the friction involved in getting to the result. Zillow does an excellent job of this for the users of their system.

So, rather than go into all the features and benefits of calling an area expert, AKA Realtor, versus getting your information from Zillow, I’ll instead share some key data points about the Zestimate. Should you desire a more accurate approach to valuing your home, or a home you are considering purchasing, complete our easy contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you shortly.

In the meantime, here are some interesting notes about Zillow and their Zestimate…

Across Long Island (Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau & Suffolk included), as of July 25th, 2018, Zillow has reported that the median of error in their Zestimate is approximately 5.825%. With an Avg. Sales Price of $572,750 reported across the same geographical area, that allows for an approximate deviation of $33,000 in either direction.

Individually, the counties across Long Island suffer from a fairly significant median of error.

  • Nassau County - 4.3% = $21,500 deviation (avg sale price $499,000)

  • Suffolk County- 4.8% = $17,500 deviation (avg sale price $365,000)

  • Queens County- 6.4% = $41,000 deviation (avg sale price $637,000)

  • Kings County - 7.8% = $62,000 deviation (avg sale price $790,000)

Check out some more interesting data from Zillow regarding the innacuracy of their Zestimate here…

At the end of the day, Zillow isn’t necessarily trying to hide the imperfections of its Zestimate, but admit they are to be used as a broad, albeit not-so-perfect, guideline to be compared with other sources. The best source for an accurate assessment of a home’s value in this market will always come from a licensed, active, local expert... Namely, a Realtor or Appraiser.

To schedule a quick, 10 minute, in-home pricing strategy consultation, contact us anytime and we would be happy to assist you.

Read more: Zillow Estimates: Not As Accurate As You Think | Investopedia

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