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Can You Trust Zillow’s Zestimates?

Can you trust Zillow’s Zestimate? I would say no, as would the Illinois homeowner who recently sued Zillow over their inaccurate Zestimate.

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I recently appeared on “Your Carolina with Jack & Megan” to discuss one of the most popular real estate websites in the nation: Zillow.

Zillow has a tool called a Zestimate, which they use to give homeowners and buyers alike an estimation of a home’s value.

If you want to put your home on the market, be cautious when looking at your Zestimate. We want to make sure that it matches up with what you think your home is really worth. Again, this is an estimate, not a full appraisal.

In fact, there is a lawsuit in Illinois right now against Zillow. A woman has sued Zillow claiming that their Zestimate is costing her money, as the Zestimate is $20,000 less than her asking price. She claims that buyers look at her Zestimate and think that her home is worth less than it really is.

This is the first lawsuit of its kind, so we’ll see what happens.

The Zestimate is just an estimate, not a true appraisal.

Zillow cannot give you an accurate home value because they have no way of knowing which updates you have made to your home. The higher price bracket you are in, the more inaccurate Zillow’s Zestimate can be.

Zillow uses public data, such as recent home sales in your neighborhood, to compare your property and come up with a value. However, if you are in a neighborhood with a lot of different kinds of homes, the Zestimate won’t be accurate. Those “comps” are not truly comparable to your property.

Ultimately, it’s important to understand that the Zestimate is not a real market value. Recently, Zillow started allowing homeowners to update inaccurate data on your property, like square footage. Even though you can fix those inaccuracies, Zillow doesn’t guarantee that your Zestimate will change.

Even in a low inventory market like ours, it’s important that you know the market value of your home before you put it on the market. Compared to last year, there are 600 fewer homes on the market, so it’s important that you position your home to sell for the most amount of money possible.

If you have any other questions about Zillow or would like to know more about your home value, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Dishing Out Some Trivia on “Your Carolina”

Think you know your trivia better than Jack and Megan?
Today is the day to test out your skills.

Looking to buy a Greenville home? Click here to search all local homes on the MLS.
Looking to sell your Greenville home? Click here to use our home evaluation tool.

Today I’m excited to be able to show you my latest appearance on “Your Carolina With Jack and Megan.” This time, I brought along a few trivia questions for the hosts. Do you think you know your trivia better than they do? Read on to test your knowledge.

My first question was “How much did billionaire Warren Buffett pay for the home he currently lives in?” Jack guessed $14 million. Megan guessed $175,000. Can you guess who was closer?

It was Megan. The answer is $31,500. Warren Buffett has lived in the same home in Omaha, Nebraska since 1958.

My second question was “In Scotland, it is traditional for homeowners to paint their door red when?” The answer? When they pay off their mortgage.

The best month and week to sell a
home is the first week in May.

My third question was attributing which famous person said this quote: “Real estate is the best investment in the world because it is the only thing they are not making anymore!” Jack and Megan both guessed President Trump, but it was actually Will Rogers.

My fourth question was a true or false question: “In New York it is a legal requirement for a home seller to disclose if they believe their home is haunted.” They both guessed true...and they were right. In South Carolina, however, this law doesn’t apply.

My fifth and final question is a little more relevant if you’re an active buyer or seller: “Statistically, what month and week is the optimal time to sell a home?”

Jack guessed the weekend of April 3rd, and Megan guessed Easter weekend. They were both close, but the answer is actually the first week of May. According to Zillow, homes listed in the first week of May sold on average 18 days faster and for 1% more money. May has come and gone, but the market is still on fire and if you haven't listed your home yet, you should.

If you have any questions about the buying or selling process, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help you.