Zestimates & Zillow’s Weak Realtors
Zillow is a great site if you want to see homes that are for sale. It has plenty of information for both buyers and sellers and there are plenty of statistics on the site as well. The problem is that they have Zestimates and these aren’t very accurate at all when it comes to the overall information provided. In fact, quite a lot of the time, the statuses are out of date and they are very off in terms of the percentage as well.
Zestimates have, in most instances, been more wrong than right. The reason for this is because they use a set algorithm in an attempt to find values up and down the country. They apply the same computations to every single location and this is not right really when you think of the “one size fits all” phrase. A complicated formula, of course, can come up with a uniformed value but at the end of the day, all real estate is local and a property in one neighbourhood can be completely different to a property in another area that might only be a couple of blocks away. Zillow can’t wander into a home and see the custom features and they can’t see the updated kitchen either so they might compare two properties that are not in any way similar, purely because of the algorithm.
Only a local real estate agent who actually knows, or lives in the area can give you a good estimate for your property. They know that everything can be objectified and they also know that some properties might hold their value better when compared to others. This can be down to a lot of different factors, but it can include the age of the property and what other amenities have been added as well.
The idea of accuracy doesn’t cross their mind when they take a look at online properties. Zillow is the most visited website in the real estate industry but the problem is that we get contacted, a lot about homes that are on the site but the fact is that they have been under contract for a matter of weeks. Customers also come to us stating that the details are wrong and this can even include the number of bedrooms that the property has as well.
So Why Does It All Matter?
When a seller goes to an agent and they ask them to list their home, the agent will then try and do a comparable market check. They use this information to try and get a good idea of how much the home will go for.
Damages to the Seller
So think about it. When agents put their knowledge to the test to find out the actual price of a property, you can imagine how annoying it is when a person comes to them and says “but I can get $20,000 more on Zillow”. This is even more annoying when you think about the fact that the agent has put hours of work into this, only to find that the seller still believes Zillow. Even if they choose to pursue this price over the realtor’s advice, nearly 100% of the time, they never actually end up getting this much anyway and it really is a vicious cycle.
Damages to the Buyer
It is very easy to see that the expectations of the person buying the house will also be annoyed when they see an inaccurate figure. If the price that is listed is lower than the actual price, they will be very disappointed when they find this out, even if the housing price is still fairly low. If they think that the price is too high but it turns out that in real life, the price is nowhere near this amount then they probably won’t give the property a second look so you could actually end up losing out on interested buyers and as a buyer, you could also end up missing out on your dream house because the price isn’t actually what you think it is.
Lousy Expectations and Inaccuracy
Missed opportunities often lead to discouraged buyers. For example, you may have a sold property and you may also have a buyer turn up at the door wanting to take a look around. This will be frustrating for you and it will also be frustrating for the buyer as well. We have seen a lot of wasted time on the market for sellers and we have also noticed that sellers have fired really good agents for something that is not actually their fault.
So there you have it, an insight into what damages can be done as a result of Zillow. The site themselves have actually disclosed the fact that there could be inaccuracies that we don’t even know about and the truth is that by the time you do know, you’ll find that it is pretty much too late to do anything about it.
At the end of the day, you really do need to contact a local realtor if you want to know the true value of a property. Take Zestimates with a pinch of salt and never rely on them fully. Don’t take our word for it though, why don’t you take a look at the other articles that bloggers have posted to see what they think?