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Online Estimates are a Joke....

Paul Tosello

Paul has been in Real Estate for 32 years, working as a Realtor, but in addition he owned a real estate consulting and coaching company.  ...

Paul has been in Real Estate for 32 years, working as a Realtor, but in addition he owned a real estate consulting and coaching company.  ...

Feb 8 4 minutes read

People throughout the United States have begun relying on “Zestimates” as their one and only source for getting their home’s current value. Sadly, as pointed out by the mainstream media below, this information can often be drastically wrong.

In fact, in the United States, the median error rate is 5%. This can absolutely raise some eyebrows when people go to enter in their home’s information for an automated home valuation. 

According to the LA Times, Zillow’s very own CEO Spencer Rascoff answered that they're "a good starting point" but that nationwide "Zestimates" have a "median error rate" of about 8%. 

Los Angeles Times: 

Inaccurate Zillow 'Zestimate' a source of conflict over home prices

Realty Times: 

Can You Trust Zillow's Home Price Zestimate? In a Word: No.

Washington Post: 

How accurate is Zillow’s Zestimate? Not very, says one Washington-area agent.

US News Real Estate: 

Why Home Value Estimate Tools Aren’t as Accurate as You Think

Find out the value of your home

The custom report you will receive is based on actual sales.


1. Basic Information Can be Inaccurate

User inputted data does contribute to the "Zestimate", information such as how many bedrooms/bathrooms make up the home, square footage of the home, and the lot size has to be accurate! The more information Zillow already has about your home the better... if it's a newer construction or first time inputted into Zillow, be CAREFUL!

  Source: Zillow Advice Thread

2. Mistakes or Omissions in Sales Prices or Property Tax Records Can Happen

This is a BIG one. Property tax records are a part of the home valuation process that should not be overlooked. Just like inaccurate basic information, inaccurate date of sale or past sale prices affect your home's valuation. See the image below for an example. 


3. Upgrades and Unique Features that are Unaccounted for

To keep things simple... Zillow won't know what you don't tell Zillow. REPORT your home improvements or upgrades to the property. Something that may seem like a quick and easy fix to your home may, in fact, affect your home's value when it comes to trying to sell your home. There is a misconception that if you did, in fact, update your kitchen or remodel the inside doesn't necessarily mean it's worth $100,000 more than what Zillow says. Upgrades and additions to the home greatly depend on what other homes in your market are like. 

4. Housing Turnover Rate

The turnover rate for the housing market is a simple one. The hotter the market (the more homes that are selling and the more information Zillow has about the homes in your area) the more accurate the Zestimate will be!

5. Major Changes to the Zillow Algorithm

If you are in the market to sell your home the Zillow Algorithm is something you should pay attention to. Any adjustments to this can affect the value of your home, but Zillow doesn't adjust their algorithm very often. According to  Investopedia.com, Zillow's algorithm was adjusted and it brought the National average two points down from last year to a median error of 6%.

As a proud member of the DFW community who actually lives here, works here and sells homes here, I would be happy to send you a free report of exactly what your home is worth. 

Technology is awesome, but when it comes to the value of your largest financial asset, the accuracy of your home's value matters. 

Find out the value of your home

The custom report you will receive is based on actual sales.

Colleen, Paul and Elena, Thank you for all of your help in selling my brother’s house at 1008 Becker.  Penny Farrall told me she had located a good realtor for me and she was so on target. It is hard... Read full review

We listed our home with the Tosello team on a Thursday and we had a signed contract by Saturday evening. Now, by any measure, this was an outstanding achievement. However for us, even more amazing than the speed... Read full review

A friend of mine recommended The Tosello Team at Keller Williams Realty to help me sell my late brother’s house. It is hard selling a piece of property that isn’t yours, is filled with stuff and is 2,000 miles... Read full review

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