How does Zillow work, and is it a reliable resource? Here’s what you should know.
Zillow is the whale of online home searches—87% of people searching for homes online go to Zillow.com.
The website has a cool little widget called a Zestimate which allows you to plug in your address and receive an estimate of your home’s value. My own website, www.TheHaighGroup.com, has a similar feature, as well as a list of available properties.
How does the Zestimate differ from my process? The Zestimate is an algorithm that links together information from the MLS and public record. It doesn’t have the capacity for critical thinking; Zillow doesn’t know how your home differs from the homes it’s comparing yours to.
At the end of the day, a Zestimate doesn’t recognize the unique features that your home possesses which might affect its value.
Further to that, not all the listings that are shown on Zillow are available anyway. Many have already been put under contract or sold. However, Zillow does sell information to real estate agents. This means that the more listings they show on their sites, the more business agents will get in that way.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m a fan of the website, but I just want you to understand the reality of how it works. The next time you’re thinking about getting a valuation for your home, I hope that you’ll come to our website or, better yet, give us a call or send an email. We’d love to give you an accurate estimation of your home’s value.