First rule of selling your home…ignore Zillow.

zestimate wrong

Sellers please remember that a home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it....and Zestimates mean pretty much nothing.

Zillow uses a proprietary formula to determine the value of a home based on information the website has obtained from public records and information entered by users. The site knows what the home sold for the last time it was purchased, and it knows this same information for other homes in the surrounding area. Using this and data entered in by homeowners, Zillow comes up with a price that a home is worth.

On the surface, Zillow’s method seems like it would give a pretty decent ballpark figure for the value of a home. And sometimes, it succeeds. More often though, the Zillow home value is off significantly – sometimes by 40% or more. Why?  Well, this market is changing minute to minute and a recorded sale price that is years, if not decades old, should not be used to accurately estimate the current values around that home.  Another value factor at the top of Zillow’s formula is using a properties assessed value, which rarely has a correlation to market value since they are two completely different things. Assessed values are used by towns to collect taxes and, in many cases, trail the actual market value of a home. Using this piece of information will throw off Zillow home values right off the bat.

In addition to all of those things...remember that Zillow knows nothing specific about your individual house including any changes or improvements that have been made.  And the same goes for the houses it's comparing yours to.   So please don’t get too giddy when Zillow tells you your house has appreciated 40 percent or too depressed when it tells you the opposite.

To really understand what your home is worth, we start and compare locally.  We look at what homes are selling for you in your neighborhood and then take into consideration things like the year it was built, condition of the home, view of the property, square footage, lot size, garage size and any other applicable variable appraisers will make adjustments for. An excellent agent is seasoned in comparing drastically different homes in a single neighborhood to get an accurate price on a property, Zillow does not have this kind of ability. This is why it can be off so significantly at times.

For those property owners looking for an accurate comparative analysis of their property in the greater Hilton Head Island and Bluffton region of South Carolina, please feel free to contact me using the form below. I use data provided by the Hilton Head MLS and follow the steps above. If you are outside the area, I have a thousand trusted partners across the country that can help you with this, and I'd love to get you together!

When it comes to selling one of your most valuable assets, it pays to have all of the facts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *