How Accurate Are Zillow Home Value Estimates (Zestimates)?

Posted by Brian Pearl on Monday, March 4th, 2019 at 2:52pm.

Learn more about Zillow's online home valuations

Thinking of selling your home and wondering what it’s worth?  You may want to be careful about the home value estimates you see online because many are either far above or far below the true market value. 

Boca Raton home sellers who set their expectations on inaccurately overestimated home values may fall victim to overpricing their homes for sale which will ultimately lead to frustration because they don't sell.  When a home is overpriced, it will languish on the market for months, causing multiple price reductions as they "chase the market" and most likely result in a lower sale price than if they had priced it right from the beginning.   

Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com's Automated Home Value Calculators

Zillow and Trulia have become the "go-to" real estate websites because they are easy to use and have mobile apps and a lot of bells and whistles, so home buyers and home sellers alike use them regularly.  That doesn't mean they are accurate.  

Most of these websites don’t provide an estimated price range, but they give you a price down to the dollar.  That misleading precision gives their estimates an inaccuracy that leads to home sellers often believing is their true home's value.  

Home sellers can get a quick glimpse into the inaccuracy of online home value estimators by comparing the estimates different websites give for the same house.

Check out the value estimates for your home on ZillowRealtor.com, Redfin and Trulia, and you may be surprised at the variance in home values.

Margins of Error in Home Valuations

Real estate websites could easily say something along the lines of, “We estimate a 50% chance that this home would sell between $A and $B.” Home buyers and sellers could then get an instant, inherent feel for how reliable an individual home value estimate is by how far apart $A and $B are.

Zillow publishes the accuracy of their Zestimates so let’s use their median errors data to turn their Zestimates into estimated sales price ranges for individual homes.

Zillow's Home Value Estimate

If you take these results, you're talking about a pretty large gap in the accuracy of home values.  This report is essentially saying that only 54% of Zillow's home value estimates (Zestimates) are within 5% of the actual sale price.  That means that the other 56% is more than 5% off of what they sell for.  If you take a $500,000 home, 5% is $25,000 which is a lot of money that most home sellers aren't willing to leave on the table.  

Online home value estimators are far better than they were a few years ago but they aren't comparable to value estimates made by professional real estate agents who know the market, the neighborhood, and how to conduct a proper home valuation after seeing the home, it's upgrades, condition, and location.

They're great data points for home sellers to have as long as they realize that online home value estimates are just ballpark estimates and that having a Boca Raton Realtor or Delray Beach real estate agent price your home is the best option for a successful home sale.

If you want to have the best possible estimate of your home’s value before you put it up for sale, hire a good real estate agent you trust. It will save you time, money and the heartbreak of slowly realizing that you trusted the wrong estimate and your home sale is going nowhere until you make a price change.

Contact The Pearl Antonacci Group at Lang Realty

Let us help you price your home to sell for the top dollar in the least amount of time, with the least amount of stress...  It's what we do.  Call us today or fill out the form below and we will reach out to you.  

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