Really, Zillow?

By
Real Estate Agent with United Real Estate TX #0552717

Dear Zillow,

Thanks for the email this morning letting me know that the value of my home went up over the past 30 days. But is it really possible to change Zestimate7.2% in just a month?  And look that that Zestimate range: $183,600 to $261,630.  That's kind of a huge spread.  I know, I know.  I've heard all the Zillow Talk about how real estate agents should use the estimates as a "starting point" in conversations about Zillow, blah blah blah.

But Texas is a non-disclosure state. The only way to find out what something actually sold for is to get it from our MLS.  Since you, Zillow, don't have access to the MLS, how are you coming up with your numbers?

All one has to do is look at your accuracy table.  You rate yourself as only Fair for the Dallas/Fort Worth area:Zillow Accuracy Table

  • 22% accuracy within 5% of sale price
  • 39% accuracy within 10% of sale price
  • 63% accuracy within 20% of sale price
  • and a median error of 13.9%

If you read the fine print, it defines median error: Half of the estimates in an area were closer than the error percentage and half were farther off. That mean that in Dallas/Fort Worth, estimates for half of the homes are within 13.9% of the selling price, and half are off by more than 13.9%.

But I think you're WAY off, Zillow.  Let me ask again. Since you don't have access to sold data in MLS, how the heck do you know how far you're off?

Posted by

Lorrie Semler, e-PRO, GRI, SRES, CPRES, CRS
Addison Resident/Addison Specialist                                                      Subscribe Button
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United Real Estate
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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bob McCranie 04/29/2011 03:13 PM
Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
Texas Dallas County
Groups:
All Thing's Texas
Collin County, TX Real Estate Professionals
Local Expert
Posts to Localism
Realtors®
Tags:
zillow

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Rainmaker
376,977
Robin Dampier REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker King - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source

A good question.  Do you think you will get an answer?  Where they can't get figures from public records etc it might be better if they simply said so and advised the consumer to contact a sales associate in that area.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Apr 29, 2011 09:26 AM #1
Ambassador
805,276
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Hi Lorrie - Brad from Zillow here.  I know you've heard and seen that we obviously and transparently disclose the information and data you mention is this post, we're the only AVM that does this to my understanding.  And yes, we are just a starting point for people in areas across the country like yours to get information and data regarding their homes, listings, demographics, community photos and much more.  Not every area in the US is non-disclosure so there are some places like yours that make it more difficult to perfect accuracy for anyone. 

You can imagine the challenges we face in trying to help the consumer and that's why we rely and hope you are willing and able to jump in at the point they need you to help them get as close to market value as possible.  Real estate Zestimates are not the only thing that Zillow provides to customers in your area, just like they're not the only tools we provide to help connect you with those potential clients. 

I'd love to share with you how others in your area are using Zillow successfully to connect, capture, and convert clients from using the information including the zestimates found on Zillow.  Real estate is always local and we always recommend a local appraiser or agent to help with the buying and selling process, but too often, folks are looking for the thorns in every rose... they're missing the point and the beauty of what's blossoms right in front of them.

Call me anytime, I'd love to show you how some Texas agents and Brokers are doing this, and even introduce you to a Top Producing agent/broker in your area who has 64 contacts so far this month from Zillow, and she's out today converting many of those to customers.  While you were writing this post, and I was commenting, she's out closing transactions in Texas.  Here's my number, 707 646-1876.  I'd love to help you if you're interested.  Thanks. :-)

Apr 29, 2011 10:32 AM #2
Rainmaker
128,324
Bob McCranie
Broker Associate / Team Lead - Texas Pride Realty Group - Carrollton, TX
Your best advocate when buying or selling your hom

GREAT Blog.  I've been trying to find a way to put this in writing.  Great job!

Apr 29, 2011 03:11 PM #3
Rainmaker
128,324
Bob McCranie
Broker Associate / Team Lead - Texas Pride Realty Group - Carrollton, TX
Your best advocate when buying or selling your hom

We spend more time fighting the mis-information that Zillow and Truila put out.  Their disclosures are not prominent and should be in large bold print. 

Apr 29, 2011 03:12 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,297,886
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Sue: The answer is yes. Brad from Zillow replied above.

Brad: I followed Ralph Gorgoglione's series here on ActiveRain about his adventure with Zillow, Putting Zillow to the Test. I'm not interested in paying Zillow any amount of money to feed me leads. His results were spectacularly unimpressive.

Bob: Thanks. I agree about the "transparency" being more prominent on the Zillow site. Still don't have an answer as to how my home could have appreciated over 7% in one month. Thaniks for the reblog.

Apr 30, 2011 03:39 AM #5
Ambassador
805,276
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Thanks for responding Lorrie. 

There are many tools on Zillow that don't cost a penny (see my most recent AR Blog post) and agents use many of the other tools we provide to connect with buyers and sellers in their areas.  I will also say that many followed Jim Jones and drank the kool-aid and look what happened to them?   :-O   Ralph's results may have be "spectacularly unimpressive", but before you self-diagnose, I'd get a second opinion. (sounding like a doctor here...  lol

Can I suggest you pick up the phone or contact one of these folks instead of reading how someone else's experience didn't work?  Of course I would never want to force you into letting me help and show you how to use the Zillow site and tools to your benefit, I'd only want to help if you were open to it and willing to do your own testing. I did put my phone number in the last comment, and my door's always open to you.

I'm willing to help if you want or need it?  (and I'm not asking for ANY money either)

BTW - we don't feed leads. we created a platform to connect buyers, sellers, investors and borrowers with willing and able agents who want to help them with their Real Estate transactions.  707 646-1876  :-)

Apr 30, 2011 05:07 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,297,886
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Will add this to my to-do list. I looked at the list of contacts, but there are no phone numbers.

May 04, 2011 10:56 AM #7
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Rainmaker
1,297,886

Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate
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