Is Zillow accurate? Are Zestimate's even close to the right price?

Reblogger Mirela Monte
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Buyers' Choice Realty

Zillow zays ziz iz zo...


Original content by Sally Dunbar DRE# 00809499

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.



Your Fair Oaks Realtor for homes for sale in Fair Oaks and the Sacramento Area of California.... I'm your gal (Sally Dunbar). I'm occasionally knowledgable, periodically humorous, and always willing to tell you everything I know.  What more could you ask for?

Here are the newest listings for Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Carmichael, Gold River, and Roseville - all CA, of course.

More Blog posts by Sally Dunbar at www.FairOaksHomesAndMore.comSally's Website at to search for all homes in the MLS, and for tons of information for buyers and sellers.  You'll find schools information, market statistics... you name it, I got it!  Come visit me.




Sally Dunbar, 35 year Broker Associate, Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks, CA (916) 524-1548, "Your Fair Oaks Realtor"


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Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Mirela, this is a great post to re-blog. We were in a CRS class today discussing Zestimates and the instructor says she likes to have the Sellers pull it up themselves to see in their County what the accuracy of the Zestimate is.

Mar 27, 2015 01:06 PM #1
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Great reblog..I think Z hit a record for inaccuracy with one of our listings in 2012. They published a Zestimate of around $300,000 for that listing and it sold for $1.5 M.

Mar 27, 2015 01:47 PM #2
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Mirela - Thanks for sharing this re-blog. I couldn't agree with Sally more about Zestimates. I wish the consumer wouldn't even look at these, as it gives them a distorted sense of reality.

Mar 27, 2015 03:01 PM #3
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Mirela Monte

Myrtle Beach Real Estate
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