Zillow-Wrong-featureThis article is a bit old … it’s from July of last year. It’s also concerning real estate in Utah, which is of course different in many ways than here in California. However, it highlights a problem that bears thinking about as we move into the “Summer Selling Season” when so many folks put their homes on the market.

One of the things we find Sellers relying more and more on is the “Zillow Zestimate”. This is a supposed “home value” that is assigned to your property on the Zillow website and is arrived at by the Zillow algorithm looking at comparable in your area nd then automatically assigning the number. Sound good, right? And it would be if it wasn’t almost invariably completely wrong.

Since Zillow developed the Zestimate Realtors have been showing up at listing appointments after putting together good market analysis of properties in neighborhoods they know well, only to find that Zillow has told the prospective seller that their property is worth $70K or even $100K more than it will ever sell for on the market. That’s not a good situation for the Realtor, who must either convince the Seller that Zillow is wrong, pass on the listing, or take a listing that will never sell and will ruin the comparables in the neighborhood. It’s also not good for the Seller who is being given bad information and trying to make life decisions based on garbage.

Now, since the time of this article, Zillow has said they are making improvements in the system. When anyone notices them getting any better, would you please give a shout out? We haven’t noticed it yet.

I’ll probably take some heat for this. However, since Utah is a nondisclosure state, meaning the sales price of an individual home is not accessible to the general public (including Zillow), it needs to be said. Zillow’s ‘Zestimates’ are little more than a bad joke on Utah’s homeowners, or would-be buyers.

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