Are Zillow Estimates Accurate?

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Do you visit or receive messages from Zillow telling you how much your house is worth? Should you believe it? Here’s what you need to know.

The Zillow estimate is calculated by an algorithm using tax assessor records. Let’s stop here. Do you think the assessed value from your county represents the true value of your house? Frequently they are too high or too low.

Zillow also uses the feed from multiple listing services. This is good since it factors in actual sales prices. But it also factors in the certain features of your house. Wait a minute. How much does Zillow really know about your house? This is especially tricky in many Atlanta neighborhoods where houses one street may have been built at different times than the ones around them and are in updated in various degrees. The calculation can’t detect renovations for which you weren’t required to obtain a building permit, nor does it know:

  • the quality of your flooring
  • if you have recently painted
  • if you have updated bathrooms or kitchen
  • if you’ve added exterior lighting and landscaping
  • if you’ve recently replaces HVAC systems, roof or hot water heater
  • the quality of your lot and driveway-steeply sloped, below street level, unique shape, extensive flat back yard

When is Zillow more likely to be accurate?

If you live in a development which has moderate to high turnover and a uniform look such as townhouses or homes with similar architecture that were constructed at the same time the estimate will be worth considering, especially when it’s a newer construction and homes are mid-range in price.

Most of us live in areas where there is a moderate amount of diversity in size and age of the houses as well as extent of renovation. So how do you determine a reasonable range of value? Let me help. I am always happy to take a quick tour of your home, review area comparable sales and provide a market review with a range of value.

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