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Is Zillow’s property valuation the “Zestimate” accurate? No, It could be off by 20%.

Property valuation websites have a lot of information to offer.  They provide details on properties, sale history, tax information, and estimate the value of the home.  As a result, they become a topic of conversation with our clients on a regular basis.  The only issue is we often find ourselves explaining to clients why the site is not always accurate.

Today, at a Boston real estate conference, Agent Reboot, Zillow representatives talked about their service and how they are among the only who post about their valuations accuracy.  Zillow’s “Zestimate” that provides value estimates of single family homes, condominiums, and multi-families are often wrong.  In fact Zillow has actually published their Zestimates accuracy for the Boston metro real estate market.  Their median error is 8.9%.  

This means if a Zestimate labeled your home with a $500,000 price tag it could really sell for $44,500 more or less than that price.  In fact only 30% of the Zestimates are within 5% of the sale price.  They actually review that 80% of the Zestimate are within 20% of the sale price.  This is a big range.  This is similar to say your home is worth $500,000 and will sell between $400,000 to $600,000.  An article published by TechSavvyAgent also clearly outlines Zillow’s accurancy.

We do like Zillow.  It is a way to collect information and we like information.  But, if you are looking to it for your only price resource in Boston, Newton, Cambridge, Brookline, and other Massachusetts towns it is not the complete picture.