How accurate is a Zillow Zestimate? Like what's in grandmas's shopping cart - DEPENDS.
If you live in a monstrous standard subdivision of homes, all built by the same builder, from 5 floor plans, with little variation, your Zestimate might be pretty accurate. But if you live in a custom area, with assorted lot sizes and varying size of homes, forget it. Zillow won't even get close.
Zillow works on the averaging principle. Using a fancy schmanzy math equation that is uber top secret, Zillow crunches the numbers from past sales (comps) to statistically guess at your home's value. Without even seeing it. Without knowing if you have an outdoor kitchen or a sink hole in your backyard. Without knowing if you have green shag, or Brazillian cherry hardwood floors. Or a new slate roof. It doesn't know squat - except your square footage and # of bedrooms. so if your surrounding homes are like yours, your Zestimate might be close.
Let's zestimate how tall your Realtor will be. Hmmm.... American woman, 2015, "comps" say she will be 5' 4". But I show up to list your home and I am 5'10". "WHAT??? That is 9.1% off! Something's wrong. You can't be that tall." If Leigha shows up instead, she is 6' 2" (OK in heels, but still). Her Zestimate is a whopping 11.5% off.
I guess you can't talk specifics with averages, afterall.
As a Realtor, do I use Zillow? You bet. Before you called me to list your home, you already ran your Zestimate. You've checked. Now I know what info to bring, to dispel the gospel of Zillow.
In the Sacramento area, where I sell homes, Zillow claims they can predict the sales price within 20% on 85 out of 100 homes. WHAT? That is terrible. If they guess a home's value at $300K, 15 % of the time it will sell less than $240K. Or for more than $360K. They guess within 5% of the sales price only 1/3 of the time. These are Zillow's own numbers. It's on their website. On the bottom "How accurate is the Zestimate". Their. Numbers. Are. Not. Real.
So how do your price your home? Call an experienced Realtor who looks at your home and its features, then compares it to recently sold homes of similar size, condition, and features, sprinkles in the market demand from buyers, the tops it off with her experience honed over decades of pricing homes, and VOILA. Your price.
THAT is how you price your home.