Author Topic: Zillow Estimates?  (Read 5496 times)

MrsSmitty

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Zillow Estimates?
« on: September 08, 2014, 10:34:55 AM »
Can anyone tell me more about what Zillow home value estimates are based on and what factors can make them change over time? I usually use that to evaluate my net worth each month and recently saw it jump up over $24K (from $216K to $240K). I'm used to it changing every month but never by this much so quickly. Our tax assessed value hasn't changed in 2 years or so.

ncornilsen

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Re: Zillow Estimates?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2014, 10:47:07 AM »
some comparable house nearby probably just sold, which gave Zillow something to update based on.

-Nick

MrsSmitty

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Re: Zillow Estimates?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 11:03:56 AM »
Ah! Good call. Looks like a house a block away that's very similar to ours sold in July for about $40K more than the "Zestimate." That must be what did it. Thanks!

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Zillow Estimates?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2014, 11:17:08 AM »

Zillow is great, but take the estimated price with a very large pinch of salt!

I own a condo in Center City Philadelphia which I bought at $195k. The price for it has jumped by about 130K (to about $330k on Zillow) in the last year. 

A new luxury building has opened last year, right in front of my condo's building.

My guess is Zillow is estimating very high prices for my condo based on the sales on the building in front of it.

If you do not have such wide differences in your neighborhood (e.g. Suburb, with very similar houses), the zillow's interpolation may be quite close to the actual appraisal.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 05:42:10 PM by CowboyAndIndian »

waltworks

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Re: Zillow Estimates?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2014, 03:23:51 PM »
Yeah, they are pretty worthless. I had 2 of my houses zestimates fall by >20%, go back up >20%, and fall by 20% again all in the course of about 2 weeks.

Remember that Zillow doesn't really know much about the condition of your house or the desirability of the location/view/whatever. So when a 3/2 down 2 block away with boarded up windows and a family of raccoons sells, it looks to Zillow like it's a great comp. Likewise when a really tricked out place sell, Zillow only knows the basic info, so it makes your house look more valuable (even though it probably hasn't changed).

-W

Workinghard

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Re: Zillow Estimates?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2014, 03:52:34 PM »
Zillow had our house at 293k. Met with several realtors recently and they said 275k-300k. Then this week it dropped to 243k. I'm guessing a nearby foreclosure sold.

I spoke with a realtor today. One place in our neighborhood listed for over 300k and sold for 289k. He said another place just went on the market for 249k. He thought it was grossly under priced and figured family members were trying get rid of it.

Sdsailing

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Re: Zillow Estimates?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2014, 07:06:05 PM »
Yeah, they are pretty worthless. I had 2 of my houses zestimates fall by >20%, go back up >20%, and fall by 20% again all in the course of about 2 weeks.

I had something very similar happen.  Mine was up then down. It even shows in the graph as a sharp blip. As of this weekend it is back up.  Correct price is still 40K higher.

briandougherty

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Re: Zillow Estimates?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2014, 08:49:40 PM »
http://www.zillow.com/zestimate/

Their page actually shows their median error (compared to recent sales). I think it's pretty cool that they produce the number and are trying to improve it.

Beric01

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Re: Zillow Estimates?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2014, 09:07:56 PM »
My Dad just told me he lost $200K on his home value in one day based on Zillow. He clearly doesn't take it very seriously.

MaikoTsumi

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Re: Zillow Estimates?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2014, 09:29:17 AM »
If Zillow estimates for my properties were accurate, I would sell everyone of them immediately and retire to Hawaii. 
For the longest time, Zillow listed my personal residence as $1million, now it's just the opposite and is way to low. 

clarkfan1979

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Re: Zillow Estimates?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2014, 04:12:14 PM »
It seems to be based on comps and sq. ft. If there are a lot of distressed houses selling in your neighborhood your estimate will probably be lower than it should, assuming your house is not distressed. I think it's a great source of information, but don't take the actual number too seriously.

DoubleDown

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Re: Zillow Estimates?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2014, 05:20:59 PM »
Yeah, they are pretty worthless. I had 2 of my houses zestimates fall by >20%, go back up >20%, and fall by 20% again all in the course of about 2 weeks.

I had something very similar happen.  Mine was up then down. It even shows in the graph as a sharp blip. As of this weekend it is back up.  Correct price is still 40K higher.

Same here. And not only that, after going up and down in wild swings over the course of a few weeks and showing the large swings in the graph, then the blip in the graph just disappeared. It's like they just "smoothed out" the curve as though the up/down never happened.

I really only find value in Zillow in seeing the comparable sales in the neighborhood. I mostly ignore the estimated value, but seeing what other properties are actually selling for is useful.