Since we (Concierge Auctions) auction luxury real estate around the U.S., I use Zillow to update me on changes in several luxury markets.
It doesn't matter if you are selling a luxury home or any other priced home in America. At our recent event, The Key 2012, one of the agents in attendance brought up during the industry panel that the Zestimate was an issue in her market. She felt that the Zestimate was highly inaccurate. The panel said that it was the agents' responsibility to educate their clients using better data then Zillow if the Zestimate was really inaccurate. Zillow knows their Zestimate isn't perfect, in fact they grade themselves on the accuracy of the data on a per state and county basis.
As I was saying, I subscribe to Zillow updates in multiple markets. These updates come to me via e-mail and they are of course going to home buyers searching on Zillow. The one I received today really caught my attention. 197 Woodland Way in North Chatham, MA is a new listing to the market for $4,750,000. According to the Zestimate they predict the house is worth $3.475mm. That is a 27% difference in the asking price and what the Zestimate says the property is worth.
The three largest websites used for search in real estate are Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. If you are a home seller are you looking at how your property is being marketed? Are you shopping in your price range and seeing what the competition looks like? Are you happy with how your home is being marketed on-line?
Is your agent showing you examples like the one below? If you are an agent, are you addressing discrepancies like the information below and showing your client what data that you have that is more accurate? Are you signing up for alerts outside of the MLS to see what type of information is being delivered by the big three?
I think it is time to update the "Ultimate Guide to Selling Luxury Real Estate" with a section on the Zestimate and how to discuss with your agent or client.