Are You Relying on Zillow for Your Numbers? Well, Don’t!
This is a caution for buyers and sellers who are consulting the Internet to gather information about pricing in order to make decisions about buying and selling.
Are you relying on Zillow for your numbers?
Notice I didn’t say to avoid Zillow, or not use it at all.
Just don’t rely on it solely for accurate information OR use it as your only source of data.
I shudder whenever I hear someone say “Zillow says my home is worth $xxx,” or “We’ve been consulting Zillow and want to make an offer based on what Zillow says the home is worth.”
Curiouser and curiouser, but that Zillow estimate [“zestimate”] is always waaay lower compared to the asking price in the case of buyers, or waaaay above anything comparable in the case of sellers.
Don’t get me wrong, there are other sources of data out there and some are even worse.
And it’s true that Zillow does point out the likely percentage of errors in different metro areas, and more details about their zestimates, but I doubt any buyer or seller ever reads this, understands it, and takes it to heart.
You’re looking for information, you see the zestimate, it’s in writing, so it must be right. Right?
Sooo wrong. THAT is the fallacy.
The reality is that your best source of information is a REALTOR® who knows his or her numbers. WHY???
- We have access to all the actives, pendings, expireds and solds on the MLS and all the data
- We work in the real estate market all the time so we know what is selling and what is not and why
- we know what appraisers are looking at
- we understand the factors that impact pricing on a regional, local, community and neighborhood level and
- we can interpret what all this means for you and your buying or selling decisions.
You of course don’t want to overpay for your new home. We can help you avoid doing that.
And you want to sell your home quickly and for the best price. We can help here, too.
My opinion. But let’s see what others who are in the profession think of relying on Zillow. Hmmmm????