Whether you are thinking of buying a home or possibly selling your home you more than likely have stumbled upon Zillow and thought you hit the mother-load of real estate information! It’s a fancy site with Zestimates, has homes marked on a map that are either currently listed or have recently sold, and you can spy on your best friends home on the other side of town to see what it’s worth and that’s cool, right? Wrong! Well, if spying on your neighbor is cool to you then that’s your business BUT if you are thinking of buying or selling a home then you want to steer clear of Zillow.
You see, I cringe when I speak with a buyer or seller and they come at me with all their research from Zillow. They already have a predetermined listprice based on what they learned from Zillow or they think they already know if a home is over or under priced with information they received from Zillow. Well, let me set the record straight – more often then not, Zillow is inaccurate.
Zillow is a computer generated program that acquires information from various sources and then runs it through a program to give you information based on a mathematical equation. Trust me, there is no human sitting at a desk inputting data about all of the homes throughout the country. What Zillow can not replicate and therefore will never be able to accurately price real estate is the human touch and the ability to physically see into other properties.
Zillow does not take into account upgrades and/or updates to a home or lack thereof. It doesn’t know:
- While your home may have Formica countertops your neighbors have all upgraded to solid surface counter tops.
- You have replaced your carpet, vinyl in the kitchen and bathrooms and updated the appliances while your neighbors have carpets that are worn thin, 15 year old outdated vinyl and brass fixtures from the 80s
- ZILLOW DOES NOT KNOW THAT THE HOME NEXT TO YOURS WAS A FORECLOSURE AND THE PREVIOUS OWNER RIPPED OUT ALL THE CABINETS, TOILETS AND MADE OFF WITH THE COMPRESSOR UNIT TO THE HVAC.
All Zillow knows is what is found on other public sites – statistics. There is no room for the human touch.
So, please, if you are thinking of buying or selling a home don’t consider Zillow as your source for pricing. It’s a fun site – lot’s of bells and whistles – cool tools and great graphics but that’s about it. If you are serious about buying or selling real estate then you want to rely on a real estate professional that can add the human element and knows your neighborhood and the local real estate market.