I get asked this question all the time: how accurate are the ZEstimates(R) on Zillow(R)? They give such a range of values, it’s hard to actually get any semblance of real and accurate information.
First of all, not every property listed for sale is found on Zillow. Although there are many places and Brokerages that have automatic syndication (ex. Keller Williams Realty, Realtor.com, Trulia, ListHub, etc.) that are automatically populated with a new property listed for sale, it appears Zillow doesn’t pull every one. So if you type in a property address, you may or may not get the most current listing information. They do provide some history and tax information, which may be useful. But as far as pricing info, let’s examine a few recent sales in Arlington:
1600 N Cleveland St, Arlington, VA 22201
List Price: $999,900
Actual Sale Price: $ 1,201,000
Difference Between Actual Sales Price and ZEstimate(R): +21.7%
Station Square Condo: 1205 N Garfield St Unit 609, Arlington, VA 22201
List Price: $489,000
Actual Sale Price: $482,000
Difference Between Actual Sales Price and ZEstimate(R): -2.73%
Clarendon Center: 2831 11th St N, Arlington, VA 22201
List Price: $829,000
Actual Sale Price: $821,000
Difference Between Actual Sales Price and ZEstimate(R): +1.17%
As you can see, sometimes they’re high, sometimes they’re low, and sometimes they’re way off. There is an overwhelming amount of information available to you online, and sometimes it’s hard to sort through it all to see what’s accurate. Your best bet is to ask a professional – ask a person, don’t always rely on an algorithm generated by a computer for an accurate price!
*Editors Note: I tweet many of my blog posts, and was sent a message from the Social Media rep for Zillow with a link to their Accuracy Chart. Their estimate in the DC area is only 31% of homes listed with a ZEstimate are within 5% of the actual sale price. Read more here.