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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Why Would a Realtor Use a Zillow "Zestimate" to Market a Property?

I ran across a listing in the Brevard MLS this morning that referred to the "Zestimate" in the marketing narrative.   With a little research I found the Zillow "Zestimate" for that particular home was about $40,000 or so less than the listing price (approximately 18% of list price).  

My guess is the real estate agent included the statement/reference so prospective buyers would understand the Zillow value did not reflect the current property condition.

Over the years I have worked with a few buyers who wanted to base their decision solely on the Zillow value and not the market.  

I can remember several buyers who wanted to offer "XXXX dollars" because that is what Zillow said the property is worth.  Their problem, like many others prospective buyers, is a misunderstanding of the Zillow Zestimate and its real use.

What is a Zestimate"  According to Zillow it is...
"The Zestimate® 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. The Zestimate is calculated from public and user-submitted data, taking into account special features, location, and market conditions"
But how accurate is a Zillow Zestimate?   Zillow tells the public on its website to use the Zestmate as a "starting point."  It further states consumers should consider
Zillow does provide a chart that identifies accuracy estimates.  

For example the chart below does show that about 80% of Brevard County estimated values are within 20% of the sale price.  Put another way it also says that almost 20% of the Zestimated values are more than 20% off.  If you are a seller are you willing to accept a value that may be as much as 20% wrong?
So beyond a curiosity value what is to be gained by "using a Zestimate?  Even Zillow says call a real estate agent.  I would refine that to call a local knowledgeable real estate agent.

In my opinion a real estate agent who deals with buyers and sellers in the area where your home is located is quite different and better than some "proprietary formula!

Thinking about selling you Viera, Florida home?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for a free, no obligation market analysis where real time data, local knowledge and a site visit (if desired)  can be used to calculate an opinion of value that is usable in today's Brevard County market.

This is not one of those anti-Zillow posts!  

My real estate listings show up on Zillow because it is a web site where consumers go as a starting point.  But my listings do not necessarily, if ever, fall in line with a Zillow Zestimate.

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