What Is Zillow's Zestimate?

Posted by Murphy Realty Group on Sunday, September 9th, 2012 at 8:51am.

Many websites are available to view Ulster County real estate, such as realtor.com, homes.com, trulia.com & zillow.com. These national real estate websites have become more and more popular over the years, especially Zillow which displays their own estimated value (Zestimate) on each home for sale. The value of a home is an important number to both buyers and sellers. Both parties need this number to be accurate. If the number is understated, the buyer is likely to push for a price close to this number while the seller will probably not agree with the number. If the value is overstated, the seller likes the number and the buyer does not.

Zillow calls its home value number a Zestimate. Both home owners and home buyers can see this number and while it often makes buyers happy, it has the opposite effect on sellers. The truth of the matter is that both parties must realize that a Zestimate is not a number that is determined by realtors but rather is a number that is determined by a proprietary formula developed by Zillow.

Zestimates for the Ulster County real estate market are prepared using complicated algorithms that take into account data and sales prices of Ulster County homes. Some of the information that is considered consists of property sales tax amounts, location, square footage, and sales prices of nearby homes. Real estate agents use some of the same information, but they will do so with a level of subjectivity, as well as additional information provided through the MLS, that is not found on Zillow or in Zestimates.

In order to get an accurate home value, several steps should be taken. You may seek the advice of a professional real estate agent, who can provide you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). Your agent will look at the subject property, do research, and pull comps from the MLS to give you a better idea of value. An appraisal by a professional licensed appraiser is in order. Appraisers are able to take into account special features and construction that add to or subtract from the value of a home. Finally, a visit to the property is important. Most website pictures of properties are of only the property itself. Without a visit, there is no way to know what is next door or in the immediate area that might affect the value of the property.

A Zestimate is certainly a place to start when considering the value of Ulster County homes. However, due to its objectivity, a Zestimate will not take into account the subjective items that must be considered in order to get an accurate home value. The only way to get a value that is fair to both buyers and sellers is to take advantage of the services of a professional appraiser and a professional and reputable real estate agent that is familiar with the area the property is in.

To learn more about home values and the current real estate market, contact an Ulster County Real Estate Agent today!

Leave a Comment