Who to believe? Zillow, Cyberhomes, or EAppraisal.com

By
Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty 7922

Free Appraisal

Automated home valuation web sites offer the promise of a free market value for your home without the hassle of having an agent spend hours of your time during a free CMA presentation. I think they are great, and more than a little addictive once your start logging into the site and popping in the addresses of any home you are curious about.

Best of all they portend to give you the monthly fluctuations in graph form and will even email you letting you know how much your home has gone up or down in the last 30 days. Pretty miraculous wouldn't you say? The last email I recall from Zillow said my house went up $26,ooo over the previous 30 days. Cool! I felt like celebrating. When it actually comes to determining what the actual market value of your home is are you willing to leave it to a web site to make the determination? If so, which site? Zillow.com, Cyberhomes.com, and EAppraisal.com all give you automated valuations on their sites.

I recently had a customer who was obsessed with Zillow. With every fluctuation I heard about Zillow this and Zillow that. Just for kicks I put the address into the 3 sites to see what values came up. Zillow came in at $588,500. Cyberhomes came in at $546,062. EAppraisal came in at $487,226, and last but not least the county's 2010 assessment is $394,000. Of the valuation web sites there is a $101,276 spread which is much more than a statistical insignificance. I tried this for a few other addresses and got similar results.

For home buyers and homeowners these are fun and interesting sites to visit. Check out your neighbors, and friends or whomever. When you really need to get down to a real valuation there's no substitute for the opinion of an experienced Realtor who knows your neighborhood.

 

Comments (4)

Bryan Watkins
LRA Real Estate Group - Mesa, AZ

Ken, good points. I don't think Zillow is correct more than 75-80% of the time.

Apr 05, 2010 02:55 PM
Mike Wilbur
Guild Mortgage Company and Oregon Homes For Heroes - Salem, OR

I couldn't agree more.  You can't count on those sights.

Apr 05, 2010 04:00 PM
Dave Westall
Oliver Luxury Real Estate - Tahoe City, CA

The only thing these sites are good for is getting your clients to talk to you about real estate as their valuations are borderline fraudulent.  I love when clients call me and say Zillow says this and Zillow says that because it gives me the opportunity to give my opinion and let them know why real estate professionals always know more about the market, fluctuations, and factors that effect the market. 

In Lake Tahoe where I work zillow is just about useless becasue it is not a cookie cutter market where every home is the same/similar.  EG: Zillow will often say that a Lakefront home is worth $560K because sales of similar age/size homes show that value but zillow forgets to factor in the fact that this is a lakefront property and the fact that the lowest prioced lakefront in the area is priced at $1.9M!  It is amazing but I do thank them for all the calls I get because of their Zestimates.  Take the Zestimates with a grain of salt, do your homework, and let your clients know why you are the expert.

Best regards, Dave

www.WestallRealEstate.com

 

 

Apr 07, 2010 11:47 AM
Jon Tipton
RE/Max Dynamic - Brandon, FL
Realtor/Cert. Res.Appraiser with The Duncan Duo & Associates

Thanks for posting.  Great content.  Here's a blog I recently posted about Zillow as it relates to Tampa home appraisals.  Have a great one!

http://tampabayappraisers.com/2011/01/every-reason-not-to-use-zillow-for-home-values/

Jon Tipton

Jan 25, 2011 01:38 AM