Zillow puts out heartwarming and entertaining commercials, they grab your attention and clicks with online advertising, and peak your interest with details about homes for sale in your area. Then after cleaning and de-cluttering for months, picking paint out of your hair while neutralizing all those colorful bedrooms, waddling for days after weeding and mulching your entire yard on your hands and knees, feeling the blisters on your hands and toes after power washing and staining the deck you realize the beauty in Zillow that has been captivating you all along has turned into the beast who thrashes the price of your home that you have poured blood sweat and tears into for the last several years.
In the last month I have received several calls regarding Zillow’s Zestimates and how a customers were frustrated that Zillow is saying their home is worth significantly less than what they feel it is worth and/or the facts of their home were completely wrong (in one case a 104 acre farm displaying as a 104 square foot home)! After a brief explanation on how Zillow calculates their value and gathers their data there is usually a little sigh of relief on the other end of the phone yet a lingering feeling of aggravation not being able to do anything about it… or can you (I’ll get back to this point in a bit)?
Our Local Area Zestmates
- Harrisonburg City Zestimate 1 Star
- Rockingham County Zestimate 1 Star
- Staunton City Zestimate 1 Star
- Waynesboro City Zestimate 1 Star
- Augusta County Zestimate 1 Star
- Page County Zestimate 1 Star
- Shenandoah County Zestimate 2 Stars
So what does my Zestimate mean?
- Zilllow’s Definition: “The Zestimate® 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.”
- My Definition: The Zestimate Zillow places on your home is completely unreliable.
What can you do about it?
Did you know you can claim your own home and edit the data to be more accurate? Below is a screen shot of where to look after you search for your home and find it on Zillow…
You can even submit a new evaluation based on a recent appraisal, broker opinion, etc…(see below)…
Of course, you need to set up an account and all these submissions need to be reviewed by the Zillow team but, you do have some control on their data, it’s accuracy, and ultimately the Zestimate so what are you waiting for? Claim your home now don;t wait till it is time to sell.
Here is what Zillow says about claiming your home (note: the following confession: “information can be outdated or missing”):
“Since our data comes from public records, the information can be outdated or missing. Since the amount of data we have for a home affects the Zestimate accuracy, it is important that you review your home facts and update the information, if necessary. By updating your home details, it could affect the Zestimate. By updating your home facts (such as number of bedrooms or square footage), your Zestimate value and Rent Zestimate could be affected. To update your facts, you must first claim your home.
Once you have claimed your home, verify the home facts are correct. Update the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, home size or lot size by clicking “Edit home information.” You can also add architectural style, roof type, heat source, building amenities and more. Learn more about editing home facts.”
Enjoy Zillowing … for what it is worth!