Zillow and other instant value websites are rarely accurate.
If you read my next article you will understand my desire to look up my home on Zillow yesterday and get a free Zestimate. Don't get me wrong, I am not a Zillow hater, I think they found a niche and are doing well from it. I too offer instant home values on my website, however unlike Zillow and many others, I do not lead you to believe the number your receive instantly is the Gospel.
Zillow and others use statistical data and not much more.
It is impossible for a computer system, looking at billions of pieces of data each second to really do an accurate comparison on properties. The fact is, the simple use public records and statistics to generate an estimated home value. To be honest, if you called me on the phone and I had never seen your property or did not know your area, I could do better but it
still would not be super accurate. I would simply take the latest sales in your area and give you a price based on square footage.
There is the problem.
Unlike a computer generated price, I can actually take in several factors, including actually looking at the comps I was using to give you a price. I can apply appraisal principals to give you a better price estimate, simple things like not crossing major roads, it is tough for a computer to know what roads are major or not.
So yesterday something happened that sparked my interest in Zillow.
Like I said, I will go into detail in another article, however for now just know something made me go look at my home's value on Zillow. I was shocked by what I found and disappointed as to just how inaccurate the system really was. First it stated my home had sold in April for $100,000. Second it stated my home had lost 10% of the value last month but was now worth $244,000. The facts are, my home has not sold since I purchased it 12 years ago, for $401,000 and while it did go down in value in 2009, today a full BPO shows my home is worth $444,000.
What is a BPO
A BPO is a broker price opinion. It is a much more detailed analysis of the value of your home. For a BPO, an agent or broker will drive to your home, learn about your specific property and the area you live in. They will map your home, understand boundaries be they streets, mountains or other. They will look in detail at recent sales within this area and form a truly educated opinion on the value of your home, this is the ONLY way to really understand the actual value of your property.