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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!

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