Why I hate Zillow...and why its OK.

Real Estate Agent with The Freedom Group - Keller Williams Realty Infinity 471.009781

Ok, for those of you living under a rock the past few years, there is a website called Zillow.com.  Zillow has a Zestimate.  The Zestimate has godlike powers to determine the value of your home (I made that last bit up).  Many people go to Zillow for advice (that's why I go), some to agonize over their home's Zestimate, some to search listings, some to do who knows what. 

I like Zillow because I have spent enough time earning Zillow All-Star Status which allows my picture and contact info to appear next to many, many homes in my area.  I've even been contacted by people asking about specific homes.  For this, Zillow, I thank you. Zillow has a lot of traffic and some of that traffic can get diverted my way.

Also, I think the trending charts are useful to see what has happened in local real estate markets.

Now onto the hating Zillow.  The average Zillow post goes something like this..."My houses value is in correct.  How do you fix it?" So on one hand, Zillow is the god of home price evaluation because people get fixated on the Zestimate.  But then, they slap Zillow across the face and question its all knowing powers of Zestimation by suggesting its wrong??  Zillow openly admits that they are usually off by 10% or more in some areas.  Somewhere, you can access this info (I had some trouble finding it, I'll admit).  I bet Bob Stewart will know exactly where it is.

Another common Zillow advice thread is "My home is incorrectly listed on your site. How do I get that fixed and the house revalued correctly".  So frustrated having to read that hundreds of times.  I asked Zillow to post a pop up window once with a disclaimer that had to have "accept terms" checked before you could use the site, but they ignored me. (Note to self: New advice thread "why are you ignoring me Zillow")

Zillow's Zestimates really are wrong much of the time.  The information used is incomplete and it is often incorrect.  For example, I just sold a home in Shorewood for $410,000.  Zestimate for the home is... drumroll... $340,500.  That's almost $70,000.  I'm a hero, right??  No, sadly.  Zillow was just way off.

Deep breath...1...2...3.  Don't believe a website can do the job for you, especially with something as complex as valuing a home. 

For a real estimate of your home's value in Shorewood, Plainfield, Oswego, Joliet or New Lenox, contact a professional.

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Steve serves the real estate needs of buyers and sellers in Shorewood, Plainfield, Joliet, Crest Hill, Romeoville, Bolingbrook, Oswego, Minooka, New Lenox, Aurora, Naperville and NW Will County.  Specializing in short sales, investment properties and first time home buyers, Steve attacks problems with a tenacious outside the box approach and keeps working where many others would have given up.   

To learn more visit steveroake.kw.com or download my mobile app. Specializing in Shorewood IL Real Estate, Plainfield IL Real Estate, Joliet IL Real Estate, Minooka IL Real Estate, Channahon IL Real Estate, New Lenox IL Real Estate, Oswego IL Real Estate, Bolingbrook, IL Real Estate, Romeoville IL Real Estate, Naperville IL Real Estate. Buyers can save between $1,000 and $5,000 by working with us! 



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Patsy Overton
Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia - Duluth, GA

Well said, Steve.  That's one more reason to hire a trained professional rather than depend on cyberspace stupidity.

Aug 03, 2010 01:23 PM #1
Barb & Sal Dragotta
Macomb, MI
Macomb County Michigan

Steve....I use Zillow on our RE web site as it gives the average 30 Year fixed % for MI. ; I  advise viewers to the site to check with their local 'whomever' to see what other entities are offering as the rate % changes. For us here in MI, they seem to settle around 4.8% - 5.2% depending on the source. Low translates into LOW rates & if they lock in with their lenders, they have an advantage over watching the market go up.
Never used "The Z" for anything else; and yes, have heard many of the complaints too.
Good points--Have a good week.
Barb & Sal 

Aug 03, 2010 01:26 PM #2
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I have not spent alot of time on there , but will definately check it out.

Aug 03, 2010 01:30 PM #3
LaNita Cates
REMAX of Joliet - Joliet, IL

I don't have a lot of people ever ask me about the Zestimates which I guess is a good thing!

Aug 04, 2010 11:40 AM #4
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

nice post, funny

Dec 18, 2010 05:14 AM #5
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!


Jon Tipton

Jan 25, 2011 01:33 AM #6
Brandon DeVere
Force Realty - Las Vegas, NV

Pretty funny. Unfortunately Zillow is very inconsistent (in my experience) on one home it is right on then the next is way off, like your example. I do check it out often though so I can get an idea of what information buyers are getting.

Jun 06, 2011 07:43 AM #7
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