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Zillow Zestimate Review

Posted By Jim On 02/08/2006 @ 4:33 pm In Personal Finance,The Home | 11 Comments

Zillow.com [3] (beta), an operation launched today by the founder of Expedia, will give you an estimate of the value of your home (or a home you wish to buy, the neighborhood its in, comparables, and basically any place in the country). CEO Richard Barton hopes that services like his will push down realtor fees and put more power in the hands of buyers and sellers, instead of the middlemen and women. In such a competitive market, it’s amazing the 6% standard fee still stands but that’s not the point, let’s see what this tool can do.

I put in my house and it pegged the value at $268,000 (value range of $238,520 – $281,400), or $27,000 less than what I paid for it. However, it also had the statistics of the house wrong such as the square footage and bedroom/bathroom combinations and so I was able to “refine” them. Zillow pulled the data from old records because it listed the square footage ~at 1600 sq. ft. with unknown # of bedrooms, and 2.5 baths which is incorrect (sellers made some renovations). I modified the characteristics to four bedrooms, three and a half baths, and 2400 sq. ft. The refined value was $320,309. Ultimately, it’s all fun and games anyway since I’m not looking to buy.

I’m assuming Zillow takes in the latest sales figures and uses them to plot trends, there are a lot of value trends, rankings, and calculations that they provide in nice colorful tables. A fun tool they provide is a map showing comparables and so I was able to find the Zestimate of some of my neighbor’s homes. There are a lot of other features that I haven’t gotten around to poking at so there might be a hidden gem I missed.

Give it a try and please let me know what you think, even if it’s just about how you were surprised your house/condo was over/under-valued.


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