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What Zestimates Can’t Consider


Posted on Apr 19, 2022

A few of the home value factors that Zillow has trouble weighing.


If you didn’t already know, Zillow’s Zestimates can be quite wrong. In fact, a few major factors make these estimates incorrect, and I want to detail those factors for you today.


The first factor to keep in mind is that Zillow lacks any sort of deep, local knowledge. I know the areas that I help my clients in very well, and that knowledge is key in examining whether a Zestimate is correct or not.


Another factor to keep in mind is the various appreciation and depreciation trends. At the moment, we’re in a rising market, and the Zestimates have a hard time keeping track of these increased values because homes are appreciating so fast. Prices are increasing 17% year over year in our area.


You should also consider that Zillow has never been inside your house. You may have upgrades or remodels that can change the price. Zillow has never been in your home, they’ve never been in the house you’re looking at, and they haven’t even been in the property they’re comparing yours to. Zillow works off averages, so that’s why you need a local agent who can tell you what’s going on with your home specifically.


“Zillow lacks any sort of deep, local knowledge.”


Another factor that Zillow doesn’t account for properly is lot size. More than just the size though, Zillow doesn’t say anything about the lot utility. A lot might be a quarter acre, but it’s sloping, which means it doesn’t have as much utility as a flat, quarter-acre lot.


The No. 1 thing that Zillow can’t get right is the external influences of the location. If a home is located on a busy street like Taylor Boulevard in Pleasant Hill, that changes the value of the home. Zillow can’t track subtle points like these.


Additionally, the value of a home has to do a lot with the nearby schools and transport hubs. Can Zillow get those details correct? I’m sure that an agent with deep, local knowledge can.


On my team, we use some specific tools that help our clients find the right price for a house. We call it visual pricing, and it’s a very interesting tool that we use to help our clients make the right decision.


If you’re looking to buy or sell, give us a call, and you’ll see that we have the deep, local knowledge you need. We look forward to hearing from you.


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