How Accurate is Your Zestimate?


This question comes up often to real estate professionals. When looking at what a home is worth Zillow offers what they term as a Zestimate which is online, free and easily accessible.

What is a "Zestimate"?

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. It is very easy for anyone to type in an address and be given a number. The problems occur when that number becomes the number that homeowners or buyers look to as the value of a property.

To see how accurate Zillow's Zestimate I decided to compare Zillow's Zestimates to some of our appraisals and see how accurate they were. Due to confidentiality, no addresses are given. Here are my findings:

1. Home: 1,971 Sq Ft 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms

Zestimate - $181,059

Appraisal- $194,000

Zestimate was 6.67% lower

2. Home: 1,194 Sq Ft 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom

Zestimate- $73,118

Appraisal- $55,000

Zestimate was 32% higher

3. Home: 2,664 Sq Ft 3 Bedrooms, 2.1 Bathrooms

Zestimate- $257,299

Appraisal- $370,000

Zestimate was 30% lower

4. Home: 1,136 Sq. Ft. 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms

Zestimate- $132,755

Appraisal- $85,000

Zestimate was 56 % higher

5. Home: 1,658 Sq Ft 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms

Zestimate- $229,671

Appraisal- $113,000

Zestimate was 102 % higher

6. Home: 2,584 Sq Ft 4 Bedrooms, 2.1 Bathrooms

Zestimate- $271,671

Appraisal- $266,000

Zestimate was 2 % higher

7. Home: 2,673 Sq Ft. 4 Bedrooms, 2.1 Bathrooms

Zestimate- $344,000