Does Zillow provide an accurate value of your home? Zillow’s Zestimates (their word for “estimates”) are like our old “desktop evaluations” where we would estimate the value on a computer with only data. Zillow simply takes publicly available information and makes an estimate. They look at the proximity of your home to others, the size of your home, lot size, and the age of the home.
The accuracy of Zestimates can vary greatly between urban, suburban, and rural areas. For example, in an urban area, homes are close together and similar sizes, but they may have been built over a span of 100 years. There’s a huge difference between a home built in 1920 and 1970. Also, the 1920 home could be completely renovated, and the 1970 home might not have kept up with the times.
Alternatively, in a suburban area with homes relatively close together and possibly even the same model and builder, Zillow could give you a more accurate number. In rural areas, homes are spread out on acres, and you could have a double-wide mobile home on a lot next to a 3,000 sq. ft. house. Again, there’s a massive difference between a house that was built a long time ago, on five acres, with eight-foot ceilings, and T1-11 siding and a home that was built five years ago with a new roof, solar power, and 10- or 12-foot ceilings. In those cases, the Zestimates would be very inaccurate.
So think of Zillow as a starting point for a rough idea of your home’s value. If you want a more precise estimate of value, contact me for a comparative market analysis (CMA). Sometimes I can do it over the phone with you giving me more information about your home. You can also hire an appraiser to get an estimate of value, but I rarely recommend that.
If you have any real estate questions or want me to give you a CMA, call, text, or email me. I would love to help you.