The Truth About Zillow Zestimates

The Truth About Zillow Zestimates

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As Realtors we are constantly asked by prospective clients and friends about the value of their homes. What many people don't understand is that there are several factors that go into determining this number and it's almost impossible to do without a personal walkthrough. Here are just a few items which can impact the price of your home:


  • Market conditions

    • Buyer's or Seller's market

  • Location

    • School system

    • Walkability

    • Proximately to major roads, power lines, cemeteries, railroad tracks, traffic, businesses, etc

  • Condition

    • Recent updates

    • Age of home

    • Past history

  • Previous sales in the area


This brings me to something that most real estate professionals have come to despise... the Zillow Zestimate. If you are a homeowner and are thinking of listing your home as a For Sale By Owner and are planning to use this number... DON'T. Are you aware that Zillow uses a 4 Star rating system to demonstrate its confidence in its Zestimates for each state? Guess how many stars Indiana gets? You got it... 1. A one star rating per Zillow is "Tax assessor's value, or unable to compute Zestimate accuracy".


Zillow goes on to say that they can't even compute their accuracy in Indiana. In addition, they publish variations of up to 20% of a homes value as a part of their valuations. That is $20,000 on a $100,000 home. Are you hearing me? With that much of a variation you could afford a full agent commission and buy a nice used car.


However, time and time again we hear people tell us that Zillow says their home is worth _____ dollars... as if to say we don't know what we are talking about or we don't want to work to get the most money for them.  Selfishly it is in our best interest to get our sellers the most money for their homes. Our commissions are a percentage of the sale! Even more important than that is this fact... as licensed agents in the State of Indiana, we have a fiduciary responsibility to our clients to represent them to the best of our abilities. This means selling their home for the highest price, in the shortest amount of time in the most professional and honest manner possible.


If you are looking to buy or sell a home, feel free to check out the Zillow Zestimate. Just don't let that be your final step. Call the Scott Smith Team and have a professional who is intimately familiar with the area look at your home and provide a true Market Analysis. Then let us list your home so we can maximize the number of people who are exposed to it so we can drive the most interest and the highest price... something owners who sell on their own simply can not do.



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Phone: 317-884-5000
Dated: May 8th 2016
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