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The Secret is Out, But Why Is Zillow Hiding it?

James Haydon

Jim Haydon believes in 110% care for his clients.

Feb 8 4 minutes read

For those who are looking to buy or sell, Zillow.com has always been the first stop in checking the available homes in your area and for those who are looking at selling, Zestimate's or Zillow's online home valuation has become a go-to site in knowing how much your home is worth. But how much can you trust Zestimate?

A recent case involving Zillow's Zestimate tool has repeatedly provided a low Zestimate, making the homeowner sell her home lower than she would like. According to the plaintiff, she has been trying to sell her townhouse which has a golf course view and in a prime location for $626,000 but Zestimate has valued the property at $562,000 and used newly constructed homes from a different area of town as comparables in providing an estimate. Read more about the case below.

Zillow faces lawsuit over ‘Zestimate’ tool that calculates a house’s worth

The plaintiff says the popular valuation system has hampered her efforts to sell a propert...

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Zillow has acknowledged the inaccuracy of their valuation tool and provides a median error rate of 5% - 10%. But a 10% inaccuracy in your home valuation can sometimes translate to a $100,000 difference in the price of your biggest financial asset. Check the data below and see the average median error across the state. Notice that the median error for New York is at 7.1%.

Zillow doesn't make it easy to track down "Zestimates" on their website. Sure you can easily get a "Zestimate" by clicking the box right in the middle of the home screen, but what if you had a question or wanted to learn more. This is where it gets tricky. 

One statistic that is overlooked by many homeowners is that the accuracy of the Zestimates in their specific area can be drastically different than the national average. 

When you visit Zillow.com ALL the way at the bottom is the small tab "Zestimates". Here you will find a bunch of FAQs about Zestimates and hyperlocal information that you've probably never seen before

To know more about Zillow's cornerstone feature, Zestimate, we visited the FAQ page at the bottom of their website and found this:


Zillow uses their own algorithm,  a proprietary formula in providing a Zestimate of your home and they have recently made an offer of $1,000,000 to a person or team that can improve their online home valuation tool. This may seem a cry for help as they have chosen to outsource and seek outside help and providing a monetary reward in helping them improve their algorithm and may seem that they are indeed very much aware that they need to improve their flagship feature.

If you are looking at selling your home and getting the best value in your largest financial asset, I will be more than happy to give you a free report of how much your home is worth.

Technology has definitely improved the lives of many and has provided a lot of conveniences, but when it comes to your financial investments, getting an accurate home valuation should be at the top of your list.

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Jim Haydon believes in 110% care for his clients. He blends cutting edge technology with a...

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