Aug. 30, 2011

Zillow said my home is worth what?

Zillow has become a very popular website for people to look up the value of their homes. It seems to be the most popular of what's known as an automated value models. Only trouble is they're not very accurate, they even state that on their own website explaining how they get what they call their "zestimate". They state "The Zestimate (pronounced ZEST-ti-met, rhymes with estimate) home valuation is Zillow's estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home's value."

Case in point.

The buyers are looking at a home on the market at $339,000, they looked it up on Zillow and its value is just under $300,000. They looked it up on another site called and the value is $283,000. Now isn't that interesting two sites don't think the house is worth near what the sellers are hoping to get. We now have a new service associated with our  multiple listing service that has a component that does estimated value's as well. Their associated with a company called Core Logic. Their value for the same property came in at $357,898 and they had a confidence score of 82% if you know anything about math they have a standard deviation for 11% and said they gave a range of values for the property of  $318,529 at the low end to $397,267 at the end.

Seems like lot's of conflicting information,

Another case I remember is I had a client considering purchasing a home that was listed for about $850,000, Zillow had its value at under $600,000 and my clients were insisting they wouldn't pay more than that. When we looked into what the difference was Zillow was not accounting for about 1000 ft.² of living space that somehow the county records they pulled the data from showed as an unfinished basement, which was beautiful finished living space. They just don't always have all the right data and they know it.

I think the best way is to get a home's value is to contact a professional real estate agent and find out what they think the property is worth having them do what's called a comparative market analysis or CMA.

Zillow even recommends doing other research (but it's hidden in the fine print) like,

* Getting a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent

* Getting an appraisal from a professional appraiser

* Visiting the house (whenever possible)

If you want to know what your home is worth, or the value of home you considering buying, give me a call at 360-739-6981 be glad to help you do some research about  Bellingham Real Estate.


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