Is it Just My Zimagination, Running Away with Me?

Real Estate Agent with Florida Supreme Realty SL514814

There seems to be a lot of Zestimate bashing going on for some reason. A plus or minus 8% valuation of an average American's most valuable asset seems to be fair in this age of information. For the purpose of this example we'll say for instance that the typical home in the U.S. sells for $250,000 and using this guide we can expect that any offer between $230,000 and $270,000 is an acceptable deviation in value. To a Buyer the former value is appropriate while a Seller sees only the latter. Herein is the difference between the realities of acceptable and reasonable. Finding a middle ground is our task!      

There will always the temptation to push boundaries and get the best possible price for our customers despite which side of the fence they're on. We are hired to combat the values and walk away with a signed contract which both parties can agree. If our information pool is contaminated we need to remediate the source. When the infection is terminal it must be removed completely before we proceed. Incorrect information is the bane of our success and without correctness we are useless. There is no secret formula or macro that exists to which Real Estate valuation applies and the faster that knowledge is absorbed by consumer the less intrusive automatic valuation methods will become.

It's not Just My Imagination


NOTE: There are 2 properties shown at $5,280,000, they are both the same listing. One zestimate is for $6,470,000 while the other is $1,721,000. They represent the highest overstated value of 123% and the second lowest understated value at 33%. It's no wonder the public gets confused, it's difficult enough for us to keep it straight.  

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Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Once again, I'm thankful we do not have Zillow in Canada!  Nice post showing the discrepancies.

Apr 25, 2015 05:08 AM #1
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Well said, and it is making agent's lives around the US more difficult.  Susan Emo  you are fortunate in that regard, that you can sleep with real "ZZZZ's".  LOL A

Apr 25, 2015 05:40 AM #2
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Hi Kevin, how can Z be accurate when it is a computer generated piece of information based on who knows what?

Apr 25, 2015 07:26 AM #3
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

It's a battle we face each day but the proof is here Susan Emo. Keep them at bay as long as you can!

Of all the examples here only one is within their "acceptable" range Ron and Alexandra Seigel, another dangles on the fringe.

Noah Seidenberg , the bait was readily consumed but when it is found to be garbage instead the term "information" is loosely interpreted. I have no idea what purpose it could possibly serve to anyone.   

Apr 25, 2015 10:18 AM #4
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

If the information databases could become very accurate (which I don't see happening any time soon), we could find ourselves in a much more limited capacity to help our customers.

Apr 25, 2015 09:34 PM #5
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

We could have our own kiosks at the mall Gabe Sanders. The POS system could accomodate 5 at a time and utilize the increasingly popular self check-out. I'll take my commission in bitcoins please! 

Apr 25, 2015 10:25 PM #6
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Zestimates are a starting point for many consumers. Some of them are very accurate and others are totally out of line. The local transactions will show the real facts.

Apr 28, 2015 01:39 AM #7
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for the post explaining the online estimates of value. Home buyers and sellers should read it.

Apr 29, 2015 09:47 PM #8
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Roy Kelley, I've always been taught that it's much better to start from a strong position rather than a weak one. Zestimates can't get much weaker than pulling numbers out of a hat.

Gita Bantwal, Zillow may describe Zestimates as only a tool which begins the valuation conversation although that logic is akin to using a screwdriver to pound nails. Useless at best!    

Apr 29, 2015 10:11 PM #9
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Kevin, I am just not a fan of z estimtes at all. I have attended a session put on my someone from Zillow who told us their accuracy rate at best was 20 %. I think its much lower than what she said. In the Katy area their numebrs are all over the place and are  not something to base anything on at all. 

Apr 30, 2015 04:56 AM #10
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Even the buyers in our Market tel us Agents that zillow is unreliable.  So the public is catching on...

May 05, 2015 12:34 PM #11
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Kevin J. May

Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida
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