A Real Estate Discussion Blog


Are Zestimates Too Low, Too High, Or Just About Right?

I know there are various attitudes towards Zestimates.  Some think they are too low, some think they are too high, and believe it or not, some of you actually think they are pretty close (and yes, I know what the rest of you think...)

However, this post isn't to discuss accuracy (visit this post on Zestimate Accuracy if you'd like more on that).  This post is to announce that you can now publish a public comment about the Zestimate on each of your listings. 

You can select whether you think the Zestimate is too low, high, or about right.  Also, there is a free form box to type an accompany comment. 

To comment, all you must do is create a free profile on Zillow.  Then you have access to write a comment on any listing you represent.

Here is a quick video with more information on this new functionality. 

To talk to someone in person more about Zillow, you can call 866-324-4005.




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Comment balloon 18 commentsSara Bonert • April 30 2010 10:54PM


My experience with Zestimates for my own home was initially $40,000 too much. Subsequently I have checked with them fairly regularly. Now they are only off by $11,000 so I think they have made some improvements. They admit that their own national margin of error is 11.5%. Joy
Posted by Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team, Trust Your Family's Move To Our Expertise! (Keller Williams Parkland/Coral Springs Realty-GreatFloridaHomes Team) almost 10 years ago

WE gave up on Zillow Zestimates. It can never accurately cover the local market conditions.  Thousand of REALTORS say the same thing, too. Never trust your Home Valuation to a computer (Zillow).  Like Dan and Traci's Website for example:  http://www.greetingsvirginia.com/cma.php

Posted by Bartley Wilson, VR Software and 360° Solutions (Virtual Pictures Corp. (VPiX)) almost 10 years ago
The zillow estimates are all three; too high, too low, and just right; and that applies to the bulk of homes in the market place. They are totally usless in determining the value of a particular home. You have to go to the site. You have to go inside. You have to know something about what buyers are wanting and liking in the homes that are selling at the time and in that place. And hopefully buyers will see enough homes that they will be able to recognize a value when they see it regardless of what any online evaluation says of it. That is called studying, thinking, and deciding. An exercise that seems to be fading with TMI on the internet.
Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) almost 10 years ago

Sara - Adding a comment doesn't help but the effort is in the right place. 

Posted by Christianne O'Malley, Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno! (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) almost 10 years ago

Nondisclosure states like Texas will always have inaccurate values, and you'll never be able to get a good Zestimate no matter what "public" website you pull information from.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) almost 10 years ago

Thanks Sara!  Great post!

Posted by Simon Westfall-Kwong, The Simon Westfall-Kwong Real Estate Group (Keller Williams Realty, North Central New Jersey) almost 10 years ago
Tried to comment hours ago, proxy error, anyway, I like to compare my listing prices to these websites to see what buyers are looking at. Zillow does not do too bad considering it's just a computer valuation.
Posted by Ellen Dittman, #1 Stop for NE FLA-JAX/OP 904.535.1199 (TEXT OK) r (Watson Realty Corp.) almost 10 years ago

Sara, whether they are high or low is immaterial. They put us in a no-win situation. I'm uncomfortable with the exposure to liability in rebutting a zestimate of my listing unless I can pull that comment after my term as listing agent is complete (hopefully, through a sale). Otherwise, old remarks float out there forever. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) almost 10 years ago

Thanks for the post, Sara.  I'm going to re-blog it.

Posted by John Akers (Keller Williams) almost 10 years ago

I had a home listed recently where not that long after I listed it, the owner looked it up on zillow and found that it was the exact same price as what I had it on the market for!  Too funny!  Good think the owner knows me and trusts that I looked at the comps and not zillow when arriving at the list price.

David in Boston

Posted by David Cahill (Century 21 Cahill Associates) almost 10 years ago

Sad that by now it is not clear. Good agents know the answer to the question. My contract forbids me to place my listings on sites that force auto-valuations. This is the sellers choice and I cannot refuse their requests. Yet sites like these insist on forcing valuations on sellers with no option to "opt out". So my listings stay off these sites. Sorry. We have warned of this before and nothing has been done.

Posted by John Elwell, You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results (CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

They used to be way too high, but I think are much closer now.

Posted by Chris Hein, San Diego Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) almost 10 years ago
Zillow is for Entertainment Purposes only.
Posted by Geoff ONeill (John L. Scott Medford) almost 10 years ago

My opinion, is Zillow is a tool for the public but agents should know how to use zillow.  It has many options and you can adjust the prices of a home you list or own by adding similar comparables manually.  I've done this and although it's not 100% accurate at least it will help when people are looking at your listing.  Unfortunately, some banks use zillow to decide if they will accept your short sale offer!  This is true, believe it or not.

Posted by Jonathan Steingraber (New Jersey Real Estate Social Network) almost 10 years ago
You must see the home first before you place a value. What if it is in like new condition or what if it has been full of dogs and cats and stinks never cleaned and the maintance has not been keep up. I find that makes a big differance in the price.
Posted by Alan Grizzle, Full Time Realtor, Lifelong Resident of Dahlonega (Chestatee Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Hi Sara, the best way to price a home is to do the comps (closed/UC + available) within a 3 month period. You will also need to know the condition and any location issues of the homes used in the market analysis. The appraiser doesn't usually know the condition inside these homes and sometimes doesn't even do a drive-by to see where the homes sit. Zestimates do not on a whole give you a complete pricing analysis; however I do use this tool if it fits my need for that particular house. I'm now offering homeowners a pre-listing appraisal, through a licensed appraiser, at a reduced rate to show homeowners an more accurate market value of their home. Difficult homeowners will sometimes listen to a third party despite the agent showing them the comps in that market area.

Posted by Jeff Stone, Seniors Real Estate Specialist (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 10 years ago
I heard a great quote this morning that I think is very relevant here pertaining to online content. "Information is free, Knowledge is priceless" Zestimates are a just a computer generated, easy way to anonymously get a starting point or INFORMATION. An agent is necessary for customized, accurate KNOWLEDGE based on experience to actually use in making a significant financial decision.
Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) almost 10 years ago

If zillow is crapping on your house value, return the favor - box up and anonymously send them some dog poop.  we shouldn't have to tell them everything about our homes to improve our value on their site.  Instead, if they get enough dog poop from a certain area code, they'll get the picture that their is something wrong with their model there...

Posted by Dis En Franchised over 5 years ago