In the past I’ve taken issue with Zillow’s zestimates because I’ve often found them to be wildly inaccurate in zestimating single family home values here in the Tucson Foothills.
They were either way high or low vs. a home’s actual (and eventual) selling price.
And then with a straight face they’d cover their bet with a ridiculously broad ‘value range’, e.g., zestimate $740,000 (value range $610,000 to $890,000) Well gosh, give me a dart board and I’ll gladly take my chances. (and don’t miss the caveats, disclosures and ….)
And after deliberately ignoring zillow for some time now, I’ve started checking in with them again. And it looks to me as if they’ve made some real progress and sharpened their game a bit. The zestimates are still hit or miss, but more often it’s closer to a hit than to a miss.
I’ll list some examples in another post soon.
And why did I start checking in with Zillow again. Well at least partly because so-called professional appraisals have become such a total crapshoot – and are so often so far off the mark that they’ve become a real handicap to making a sale. And that’s not to say that we can use Zillow to rebut an appraisal, but just as another opinion – and from what I can see, a more useful opinion than in the past. I must admit.
And of course these wacky appraisals are thanks to the new and improved regulations that now govern who and how appraisers are assigned. Which may result in the appraisal and valuation of the home you’d like to buy being in the hands of an appraiser from Vail or Glendale or Apache Junction, or who knows where – who has little or no experience in the foothills.
And boy if that’s the case hang on to your hats, because, even with local experience, it’s often tough to do a proper appraisal in the foothills.
At least when Zillow offers a valuation you’re free to accept it or reject it with no further consequences. But a so-called professional appraisal will make or break your sale.
Here’s some further reading on the appraisal problem >
Flawed real estate appraisals create problems for buyers, sellers, refinancers
and my personal experience with a wacky appraisal,
to find your Tucson Foothills home