How Accurate is Your Zestimate?

One of, if not the, most important steps to a quick home sale is your list price. I get asked frequently “How accurate is my Zestimate?”, to which I simply reply “it’s not”.

Zillow is a great tool for home searching, which is what it was created to be. It was not meat to be a resource for pricing your home. Zillow gathers their pricing information through public information and uses mathematical modeling to turn that data into numbers. This is referred to as an AVM, automated valuation model. The problem? Zillow has no idea of your local market, and has never set foot in your home or those they are comparing yours to.

Zillow has published stats regarding the accuracy of their Zestimates and what they say may surprise you. At least 50% of Zestimates are off by an average of just under 5%, or about $10,000 on a $200,000 house. They also say they’re within 20% of the sale price 86.5% of the time. That’s not something to brag about. 20% is a HUGE range when it comes to buying or selling home, that’s literally tens of thousands of dollars.

Long story short, the best way to get an accurate valuation of your home is to talk with a Realtor. Each time before I go on a listing appointment, meet with a FSBO seller, put an offer in with a buyer, etc. I created a comparative market analysis (CMA) for that specific property. A CMA is designed to project a home’s list or sale price based on in-depth evaluations of comparable recent home sales. Those numbers take into account comparable properties, location, market conditions, time of year, updates and about anything else you can think of. This information, along with actually viewing a property, is how a home should be priced.

Are you thinking of selling, or do you want a CMA for your home out of curiosity? Just ask! I would be happy to prepare one and discuss it with you!


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