Pricing Your Home By Zestiment – Read The Fine Print

Should you use a Zillow Zestiment to determine the value of your home?

Some real estate agents hate Zillow. Realtors spend a lot time researching sold homes, adjusting  comparables, developing market knowledge and using their experience advising owners concerning pricing a home for sale.  Home owners sometimes don’t like what they hear and will  proudly report the  “Zestiment” says their home is worth X . 

Consider this. If your doctor told you that you had a serious medical problem and he was 70% confident in his diagnosis would you feel relieved or want a second opinion?  What if he told you he didn’t have enough information to be accurate, the tests could be old and his diagnosis was within 10% of being accurate 50% of the time?   That’s a Zestiment, at least for Grayson County, TX.

I love Zillow because I will use it along with tax value and Core Logics AVM (Automated Valuation Model) to show why using a Realtor or an appraiser to estimate the market value of your home makes more sense. Realtors and appraisers use current data from recently sold properties and we actually visit properties to determine condition, amenities, upgrades and local parameters when estimating market value. We can see first hand if someone enclosed a garage, added a bath or painted the walls odd colors.


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Zillow is very upfront about their Zestiment accuracy and I commend them for their accuracy ratings and the information provided right on their website. Unfortunately, most people will never scroll down to the bottom of the page, click on Zestiment and look at their county.

Dallas County is one of the largest metro counties in the US  and they only have a two (2) star rating which Zillow describes as fair.  Collin county has three (3) stars or good.

Grayson county has one (1) star, described as “Tax assessor’s value or unable to compute Zestiment accuracy. Grayson County Tx. Zillow Zestiment Accuracy Table by County

Zillow primarily relies on public data. It’s not their fault that Texas is a non-disclosure state, meaning no one has to disclose what they paid for their home. Also, while some appraisal districts are more timely, they are only required to re-evaluate the tax value of your home every three years.

In the world of real estate, 3 years is a lifetime.  Appraisers and lenders strive for sales no more than six months old when determining value.  So the next time you want to determine the value of your home, consider that the data Zillow is getting from the appraisal district could be dated. 

It’s a fun exercise to get a Zestiment or other automated determination of value but in Grayson and most other rural counties the estimate is no more useful that the county appraisal districts tax value.  The only realistic way to determine market value  is to analyze recent similar properties that have sold and then expose your property to the market.

If you are getting numerous showings, then your home is priced right. If its being shown and not purchased, it’s normally the condition. Most importantly, if your home has been on market a long time or expired without a sale, the market is telling you only one thing –  you are the highest bidder.  No one else puts the same value on the property as you.

Call Keith Laursen for an evaluation of your home’s value in the current market.  I will use fresh data and it will be as close to your neighborhood as possible vs. the entire county. You will get personal responsive service and advice pertinent to our area that you can’t get from a computer model.

About Keith Laursen

I am a Fathom Realty Realtor specializing in town and country properties in the cities of Van Alstyne, Anna, Melissa, Howe, Gunter, Tom Bean, Whitewright, McKinney and Plano, TX.

My trusty horse and I will help you "spot" the best in real estate. Remember, it can't sell if it's not spotted!
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Get Started Today ——– Call Keith Laursen 469.233.1234

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