Here Is What To Do If You Are Unhappy With The Zestimate On Your Home

Dated: 03/22/2018

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Are You Happy with the Zestimate on Your Alabama Gulf Coast Home?

If the answer is no, like this particular homeowner who contacted Chanel 13 Action News, I can help you change that number  (hopefully for the better.) 

Here’s What You Can Do About Your Zestimate if You’re Not Happy

Zillow is aware that its computer calculations are imperfect, and they have legal coverage on that issue by disclosing that truth, and also by disclosing the accuracy rates for each location. It’s just not very easy to find.

If you click on the Zestimate link at the bottom of the Zillow home page, you will find a chart called Data Coverage and Zestimate Accuracy Table.  The table lists the percentage accuracy of the Zestimate in each major metropolitan area. You can then click on states and see the data for counties.

For example, here on the Alabama Gulf Coast (Baldwin County, Alabama), Zillow claims its Zestimate is 35.4 percent accurate within 5 percent of the actual sales price. Not good at all. The Zestimate gets a bit more accurate at 20 percent of the actual sales price: 64.6 percent. That’s still a large margin of error.

Zillow gives themselves 2 stars for 35.4 percent accuracy within 5% of sales price in our area. If a Realtor® is only accurate 35% of time, they won’t be in business very long...Image title

How do you make YOUR Zestimate more accurate?

The first thing you have to do is claim your house. Here is the link to do this: After your have “claimed” your home, make sure everything is accurate. You do this by clicking the link that says “Edit your home facts.

Tip No. 1Add great photos.  In my experience this will almost always raises your Zestimate.

Tip No. 2: Write great copy. Zillow has two questions: It wants you describe the features of your house and then describe why you like living in this home. The copy is really important. Guess what? Spelling and Grammar Count!

“Today, when a homeowner updates the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, lot size, year built or structural remodel year, the algorithm will immediately recognize those changes and update the Zestimate accordingly,” Zillow said in a release. “The change in estimated value will depend on several factors, including the home’s location and the breadth of changes to a home’s facts.”

When should you do this? NOW! Or at least before you put your house on the market. Because you know your potential buyers will check Zillow before making an offer.

Even if you are satisfied with your Zestimate, you should do this. You won’t know until you have a comparative market estimate (CMA) from a local Realtor® if the Zestimate is anywhere near accurate.

If you need help with this, contact me. I’ll be happy to help you.

Understanding your Zestimate

Zillow also disclaims: “A Zestimate home valuation is Zillow’s estimated market value. It is not an appraisal. Use it as a starting point to determine a home’s value.”  I don’t even know what that’s supposed to meanif it’s not a Comparative Market Analysis, it’s useless to help determine the value of your home.

Zillow is a computer system, an algorithm, not actual humans calculating information. The system relies on public data, such as tax records to calculate, so if there are errors in public information (and there usually are), that will be reflected in the Zestimate. Also, if upgrades and improvements haven’t been added to a public database, they won’t be reflected either.

Are you unhappy with the Zestimate on your home? By going to Zillow and updating the information about your house, you can help get a more accurate Zestimate. I can’t say exactly how much it will help, but hopefully enough to minimize the possible damage of a grossly inaccurate price.

If you’d like a more detailed explanation about Zillow Zestimates, this video by Home Buyer Channel explains it well:

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Here Is What To Do If You Are Unhappy With The Zestimate On Your Home

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