One of the websites that has received quite a bit of attention from homebuyers and sellers over the past year or so is Zillow. This popular site offers estimates, or “z-estimates”, as they term them for every home in the United States. All homes in the country show up on the site – even those that the homeowners do not list on their own. How do they do this? The company tries to use a logarithm that compares a host of different factors that will determine the value of the home.


Is it Accurate?


One of the big issues with the Zillow valuation is that many homeowners do not find it to be particularly accurate. For example, some homeowners are finding that their homes have woefully low z-estimates when compared to actual estimates. This makes it appear as though the house is actually worth much less than it might be, which means that anyone who is considering selling is going to be getting lowball offers.


Sometimes, the estimates on Zillow are not up to date either. Those who have created an addition, added a brand new kitchen, installed hardwood floors, or remodeled the interior of the home will find that Zillow might not keep up and that means that the valuation from them is going to be far lower than the actual value of the home. This can lead to some rather angry homeowners who see that their home is worth about $50,000 less on Zillow than it is in actuality!


Still Popular Despite the Problems with Accuracy


Even though they are not entirely accurate, you will find that the site remains popular with quite a few people. Sellers and buyers alike are using the site, but it really should not be your sole solution. No municipalities, counties, or lenders are using the site for their appraisals or tax assessments.


When you visit the site, whether buying or selling, realize that the numbers are likely to be inaccurate. Take the prices you see with a grain of salt. This is also true if the site happens to value your home extremely high as well. If they give your home a higher value than the other estimates, then you should take that with a grain of salt too.


Dealing with Zillow


Of course, since it might take some time for the popularity of the site to die down, it might be a good idea to find a way to work with the site. You can talk with your realtor, who might have some ideas of what you can do. One possibility would be to join the site and to update all of the information that it contains. This is one way that you could improve the valuation of your home on the site. However, it might not always be quite so easy.


You and your realtor need to prepare your home so that when you show it to potential home buyers it looks as good as possible. Show them what your home is really worth!


The Hancock Group with @properties specializing in downtown Chicago Real Estate including The Gold Coast, South Loop, West Loop, Streeterville & Lincoln Park for over 10 years. Call/Text/Email Us today at 312-296-9300, or Find us on Google+