When you combine our nation’s need for information in “bite-sized immediacy” with our society’s obsession with hand-held devices bringing access to apps and websites at your fingertips, it is understandable how one could get caught up on a website with a clean design, well thought-out user interface and fast load times. I mean… have you ever been on Pinterest???
The difference in this situation is that if I am simply looking for a new dessert recipe for the weekend and the information on Pinterest is inaccurate, the worst thing that happens is my souffle doesn’t rise. If you are truly in the market to sell your home and the website most trusted by buyers and sellers clearly states on their own website that across the US, their data is only accurate within 5 percent, 52.9% of the time, imagine how damaging that could be.
To be put in other terms, Zillow’s “Zestimate” is off by more than 5 percent, 47.1% of the time. For those of you keeping score at home, that means they are off by $25,000 on a $500K house–nearly all of your commissions. So if you were to be selling your home, why would you want it to be listed on a website that would tell buyers that offering 95% of your home’s value should be accepted?
On the buyer’s perspective, it isn’t much better. How would you feel if you missed out on your dream home because you made your offer based on a Zillow Zestimate and ended up 10% below another offer coming from a REALTOR®’s proven competitive analysis to provide an offer price at market value? Or the opposite…you pay way too much for a home and immediately eat into your equity.
The bottom line is this: If a publicly traded company (Zillow Group, ZG) is being allowed to blatantly misrepresent the real estate industry, it is our job to do our homework, educate ourselves and make sure we are doing everything within our power to protect our clients. As with much of our business, the final decision is ultimately up to them.
Homeowners, please leave your comments below so we know your thoughts. It is crucial that we understand your perspective so we can keep your best interests top of mind. Agents, please let us know if this is something you have dealt with and how best you handle the topic.
The information below is pulled directly from the Zillow website and is accurate as of February 13th, 2018. You can see the page on Zillow HERE. (scroll down below the green header “How Accurate is Zillow’s Zestimate?”)
|Region||Zestimate Accuracy||Homes on Zillow||Homes With Zestimates||Within 5% of Sale Price||Within 10% of Sale Price||Within 20% of Sale Price||Median Error|
|All 50 States||Three Stars||122.4M||96.6M||52.9%||73.3%||85.8%||4.6%|
|Metropolitan Area||Zestimate Accuracy||Homes on Zillow||Homes With Zestimates||Within 5% of Sale Price||Within 10% of Sale Price||Within 20% of Sale Price||Median Error|
|Atlanta, GA||Three Stars||2.1M||1.7M||55.5%||75.2%||87.3%||4.3%|
|Baltimore, MD||Three Stars||992.6K||894.2K||54.6%||73.6%||85.1%||4.3%|
|Boston, MA||Three Stars||1.6M||1.3M||53.9%||78.1%||89.9%||4.5%|
|Charlotte, NC||Three Stars||973.3K||807.1K||52.3%||72.3%||84.1%||4.7%|
|Chicago, IL||Three Stars||3.3M||2.9M||56.7%||76.8%||88.5%||4.1%|
|Cincinnati, OH||Two Stars||828.9K||701.5K||46.4%||68.4%||84.0%||5.5%|
|Cleveland, OH||Two Stars||830.6K||717.8K||44.8%||65.4%||80.2%||6.0%|
|Dallas-Fort Worth, TX||Two Stars||2.2M||1.9M||33.1%||57.2%||79.6%||8.2%|
|Denver, CO||Four Stars||965.1K||883.4K||65.5%||86.1%||94.5%||3.3%|
|Detroit, MI||Three Stars||1.8M||1.6M||50.9%||71.9%||85.6%||4.8%|
|Houston, TX||One Stars||2.2M||1.9M||—||—||—||—|
|Kansas City, MO||One Stars||777.1K||677.7K||—||—||—||—|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL||Three Stars||2.5M||2.1M||52.1%||72.9%||87.4%||4.7%|
|Minneapolis-St Paul, MN||Four Stars||1.2M||1.1M||60.9%||82.5%||92.1%||3.7%|
|New York, NY||Three Stars||5.3M||4.6M||49.1%||70.5%||84.8%||5.1%|
|Orlando, FL||Four Stars||899.9K||791.5K||60.3%||79.8%||90.1%||3.7%|
|Philadelphia, PA||Two Stars||2.1M||2.0M||48.1%||65.7%||77.7%||5.4%|
|Phoenix, AZ||Four Stars||1.7M||1.5M||67.0%||84.8%||93.7%||3.1%|
|Pittsburgh, PA||Two Stars||1.0M||867.7K||42.1%||61.9%||75.9%||6.5%|
|Portland, OR||Four Stars||816.3K||704.0K||64.4%||84.4%||93.0%||3.4%|
|Riverside, CA||Four Stars||1.6M||1.2M||65.2%||82.2%||90.8%||3.2%|
|Sacramento, CA||Four Stars||794.4K||681.2K||60.1%||80.9%||91.2%||3.8%|
|San Antonio, TX||One Stars||839.8K||688.1K||—||—||—||—|
|San Diego, CA||Four Stars||907.6K||817.5K||63.2%||83.7%||93.5%||3.5%|
|San Francisco, CA||Two Stars||1.3M||1.2M||47.4%||72.4%||89.6%||5.4%|
|Seattle, WA||Three Stars||1.3M||1.2M||54.2%||79.4%||92.0%||4.5%|
|St. Louis, MO||One Stars||1.2M||992.6K||—||—||—||—|
|Tampa, FL||Three Stars||1.3M||1.1M||53.8%||74.1%||86.5%||4.5%|
|Washington, DC||Four Stars||1.9M||1.7M||64.5%||83.4%||92.5%||3.3%|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||Four Stars||3.1M||2.8M||60.7%||81.6%||91.8%||3.7%|