Today I want to talk about something that we’ve been seeing a lot of in this marketplace. Zillow and Trulia are now under one banner, and a lot of people in San Luis Obispo have been using the website to plug in their home’s address and get an instant home valuation. This estimate can be accurate, but oftentimes it isn’t. Recently, I saw an interesting example that helps to explain the value Zillow brings, and why sometimes it can be off the mark and end up costing you.

Recently, we helped a client sell their home. I told them they should price around $599,000, but Zillow's Zestimate was right around $538,000. We actually ended up selling the home for $610,000 as-is after receiving multiple offers. Even after the sale went through, the Zestimate only went up to $541,000. If the buyers would have listened to Zillow over me, they would have left a lot of money on the table. We’ve also had situations where the Zestimate was telling a couple their home was worth $900,000, but it only ended up selling for $700,000.

What you need to realize is that Zillow is a computer-generated model. It doesn’t take into account very many specifics, like the size of the backyard, the location, and any improvements. There are a lot of things that give your home value that Zillow simply doesn’t take into account. It’s a good guideline to start with, and it’s very useful if you live in a subdivision with a lot of similar homes. However, it doesn’t take into account many different variables, so it’s better for you to have an experienced, professional agent give you their opinion on what your home is worth.

If you have any questions about your home’s value, start with Zillow, but don’t hang your hat on it. Check with us first. Give us a call or send us an email, and we would be happy to speak with you in order to get you some real, factual answers. We look forward to hearing from you!