Zillow had roughly 73 million unique visitors in December, making it the most popular online real estate information site according to The Washington Post. Zillow provides sales price information, their estimate of market value (“Zestimates”), as well as current sales prices. These “Zestimates” are routinely quoted by both buyers and sellers in the market as gauges of market value for properties, however they seem to rarely be accurate. Zillow calculates these statistics by exploring homes in certain areas similarities and basically creating a statistical model that uses patterns to estimate a market value for a house.
The median nationwide error rate for Zestimates is roughly 8%, although the localized rate is much higher. The Girls of Real Estate decided to compare their own properties to the information on Zillow just to see the differences. Their listing at 12845 Gentle Shade in the Braemar community in Bristow just closed for $510,000 a few weeks ago, however Zillow said the home value was actually worth $541,352 which is a $30,000 increase.
Comparing similar properties in the area as well as what properties are actually selling for is how market value prices are reached and Zillow just does not know the individual market data for neighborhoods and what is happening there. Another listing that recently closed where The Girls of Real Estate represented the buyers is a home in the exclusive Lake Manassas gated community. The address was 8506 Link Hills Loop in Gainesville and the gorgeous home sold for $832,000, however Zillow’s Zestimate was $820,328 – a $10,000 decrease.
“The Girls” have another property in The Regency at Dominion Valley in Haymarket at 12551 Royal Crest #202 which is set to close at the end of this month. Zillow estimates this property to be worth $30,000 more than what it is actually going to close at. Another listing “The Girls” have is at 11950 Blue Violet Way in the Avendale community in Bristow, located near the VRE. It is listed for $535,000, however Zillow’s Zestimate is $35,000 less. Also, 7340 Tucan Court is a gorgeous four bedroom, three bath home in Brookside in Warrenton where Zillow’s Zestimate is a whopping $711,540; whereas “The Girls” have it accurately for sale at $650,000. Again, the market value for a property depends on local market conditions, location, and what buyers are willing to pay. Zillow does not know localized market conditions and therefore doesn’t appear to be able to accurately predict what a home’s value is.
Now that we see how inaccurate Zillow’s Zestimates can be, it is important to only use these figures as considerations and to obtain real accurate information from seasoned real estate agents. Call The Girls of Real Estate today at 800-882-0317 to get the conversation going about your dream home’s market value!