But Zillow Said...

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY License # 49FA1074963

One of the biggest thorns in my side is how Zillow offers to estimate home values for consumers. It never fails to amaze me how I can walk through a home, sit with the owner, apply my 13 years of experience to a detailed market analysis, quote the owner my best price opinion, and then be told with a straight face "but Zillow said it is worth $50,000 higher." I have had irate buyers call me at 9pm, almost screaming that they just overbid on a home because Zillow said it was worth $25,000 less.

There was a time that I just thought that Zillow hated agents. After watching the site evolve and reading Sara Bonert's writing, I no longer hold that opinion. I believe that Zillow does want to be a valuable tool. Sara tipped us off to Zillow's self-published accuracy statistics, which are very instructive.

According to Zillow's own data, in my own Westchester County, Zillow's median error is 18.3%. Now, this is Zillows own data, which to me speaks volumes.

zillow

What they are saying is that they aren't throwing agents under the bus, or that they are 2nd-guessing our local knowledge. 

Consumers who use this feature would be well advised to read the small print and take this into account when using the zestimate feature. Knowing that this transparency is evident at Zillow gives me far more peace of mind in dealing with their valuations.   

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
Real Estate Technology & Tools
Location:
New York Westchester County Briarcliff Manor
Groups:
I Love NY
Independent Brokerages
Learn to be a Top Producing Listing Agent
Realtors®
Westchester Real Estate Network (WREN)
Tags:
zillow zestimates
valuations
automated values
weschester home values
zillow
zestimates

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
182,162
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Perfect!  This is exactly how I hope Agents are using this chart and data.  We believe in 100% transparency for the real estate consumer, which means holding ourselves to this standard and being upfront about our accuracy.  Thank you so much for reading and hanging in there with us. 

Feb 10, 2009 09:53 AM #1
Rainmaker
121,260
Spencer Rascoff
Zillow - Seattle, WA

Thanks a lot for your post. You're spot-on.

 

- Spencer from Zillow

Feb 11, 2009 01:16 AM #2
Rainer
179,189
Mark MacKenzie
Phoenix, AZ

18.3%.

What is the point then, really?

The problem is that most people, myself included, don't usually read the small print, at least not on informational web sites.

These values clearly can present a head wind when talking with buyers and sellers.

Feb 11, 2009 05:09 AM #3
Rainmaker
505,639
Dominick Dina, MA, REALTOR®
Christian Realty San Antonio - San Antonio, TX
GRI, e-PRO, TAHS, SFR, Notary Public

The evolution of Zillow is obvious...at first it did seem there were anti-agent.

As I tell my students, beware of statistics...ask how old and from whom.

Thanks for sheading some light on Zillow.

Dominick

Feb 12, 2009 01:59 AM #4
Rainmaker
153,400
Kathy Knight
Intracoastal Realty Corp - Wilmington, NC
BROKER, ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR, SRES

Wow your blog will really help me think twice and accurately inform my clients about Zillow.. Not so accurate... Thanks great blog...

Feb 20, 2009 04:08 AM #5
Rainmaker
224,127
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO

Have you seen the estimates being shown for foreclosures on foreclosure.com (I think that they are Zestimates, but not certain)- the values are ridiculously high.

Feb 28, 2009 07:27 AM #6
Rainer
145,203
Andrzej Niemyjski
Realty One Group - Sun City West, AZ

some of REO asset managers use Zillow to compare value when they order BPO

Jul 26, 2009 03:17 PM #7
Rainer
97,962
Lisa S. Mullins
Glen Allen, VA

Great info--- I was also one of those who  said 'but Zillow said...'.  Now I WILL read the fine print. Thanks for pointing this out!

Nov 17, 2009 01:12 AM #8
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
888,557

J. Philip Faranda

Broker-Owner
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*

Additional Information