Is Your Zillow Estimate (Zestimate) Really Worth It?

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Is Your Zillow Estimate (Zestimate) Really Worth It?


How Does The My RA Work?

February 07, 2014

Zillow and Trulia are two of the largest websites when it comes to shopping and comparing home prices within your local area.    Twenty years ago, most of who were shopping for a home typically contacted a real estate agent first.   Once we gave the agent all of our new home wish list, they would compile a ‘get in the car’ tour where you were whisked away to see 20 or 30 homes before you narrowed it down to just a just a few.   Then, after comparing prices and your options, you would make an offer on the property that best suited your family.   Now companies like Zillow and Trulia allow you to turn this funnel completely upside down.  Do the values shown on these websites really matter?

What is a Zestimate®?

The Zestimate® (pronounced ZEST-ti-met, rhymes with estimate) home valuation is Zillow’s estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home’s value. The Zestimate® is calculated from public and user submitted data; your real estate agent or appraiser physically inspects the home and takes special features, location, and market conditions into account.  They encourage buyers, sellers, and homeowners to supplement Zillow’s information by doing other research such as:

  • Getting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent
  • Getting an appraisal from a professional appraiser
  • Visiting the house (whenever possible)

How can a Zestimate® help you? (just a short list)

  • It can give you a ballpark range of what’s on the market at what prices and what has recently sold in your area.
  • It can give you history of sale prices.
  • It allows you to tell the public what changes, modifications, or improvements you made to your home?
  • You can now see rents in the area if you wanted to rent your home.
  • Pictures can certainly help you as they are the initial sorter of buyers.

When does a Zestimate® not matter?

  • It is not an appraisal of your home.
  • It generally will not affect the mortgage company- even for changing PMI.
  • Foreclosures are taken out of the Zestimate algorithm.
  • It shouldn’t be an indicator to buy a home or sell a home.

Last week, I was able to interview Rhonda Duffy, Owner of Duffy Realty ( who is the #1 agent in Georgia and Josh Moffitt, President of Silverton Mortgage Specialists ( about whether or not your Zestimate® really matters?   Check it out on our recent Spreecast and learn the tips and tricks that the experts know to get the most out of your property and getting a great deal on your mortgage.

Written by:
Ted Jenkin

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