Zestimate ineffectiveness drives homeowners crazy

Posted on April 20, 2018

The Zestimate. Zillow’s infamous estimator of real estate values doesn’t seem to bother home buyers, but it sure does send many homeowners through the roof with its incongruous home valuations. Even Zillow admits its Zestimate is wrong more than 50% of the time and frequently by as much as 10% of a home’s value. On a home worth $500,000, who doesn’t think $50,000 is a lot of money?

Perhaps the Zillow representative who recently visited Beacham & Company, REALTORS said it best, “the Zestimate will never be right.” Ouch.

What are home owners to do when they list their home for sale and the Zestimate is (significantly) lower than the list price? Beacham has methods that have proven successful in manipulating the Zestimate’s value. Not every attempt is successful, but successes are far more frequent than failures. Example: After Beacham recently took over a listing in Buckhead from another real estate firm, the Zestimate exponentially increased and the home, after sitting idlily for months, went under contract within days.

What is the Zestimate’s deal? Why is it so inaccurate? The Zestimate relies mostly on tax records which can be erratically inaccurate or outdated or both. When bad information is used on a comparison basis to estimate another home’s value, the problem is compounded. Worse, Zillow only has access to about half of the nation’s MLS data.

Sometimes the Zestimate doesn’t appear for a home which pleases many of our clients. Zillow says the only time that happens is when Zillow doesn’t have enough data to render an estimate. However, the Zestimate has been known to appear and not appear depending on the i.p. address used by the consumer. Is anybody feeling jerked around yet?

If you don’t agree with the Zestimate of your home, a homeowner can contest the value. Beacham assists sellers with contesting Zestimates and in manipulation of data to help the Zestimate to a more accurate conclusion. For more information about correcting your Zestimate, contact a Beacham agent or email [email protected]

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Beacham & Company, REALTORS® is Atlanta’s top-selling luxury real estate office. The firm was founded by Glennis Beacham, one of Atlanta’s most celebrated real estate agents and the only agent in Georgia to sell nearly $2 billion in real estate. The firm has 100 agents who average $7 million in sales per agent, more than any other Atlanta real estate firm. In 2017, the firm achieved record sales for the 11th consecutive year and remained the top-selling office in the city for single family listings sold for more than $1 million. The firm was also donated nearly $1,000 per agent to local charities over the course of the year.