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How Reliable Is Zillow?

Zillow, (www.zillow.com) the publically traded online real estate information marketplace (Ticker Symbol Z) that provides information about homes, real estate listings, and mortgages, as well as enables homeowners, buyers, sellers, and renters to connect with real estate and mortgage professionals has many tools that are helpful.  However, for those of us in the Real-Estate / Mortgage industry, we realize that “not all homes are equal”, especially when it comes to valuation.

I found an interesting article regarding the Connecticut Housing Market on Courant.com discussing valuation and issues that are caused as a result of using Zillow as a “Final Value” website.  Zillow does include many disclaimers regarding valuation and how its “Zestimates” are only the starting point for figuring out the true value of a house.

Zillow has become one of the dominant sites for preliminary research on home values…  We in the industry have to keep the facts in front of the buyers (and sellers) that Zillow is only to be used as a tool, and that valuation by a certified appraiser is not included in all Zestimates.  An example of this would be a recent sale we had… Zillow had a home valued at $235,000, the home sold in August for $290,000.  Zillow now has the home valued at $290,000 (because of the public sales record).  Nice $55,000 increase overnight!

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Posted in Mortgage Basics & Information on Saturday, December 24, 2011 by Maple Tree Funding