Why Zillow’s Zestimates don’t work well for San Diego homes

Posted

October 23, 2015 By Eric

We often get asked about “Zestimates”. (For those who may not be aware, these are the automated tool on Zillow.com that says what they think your home is worth.) Basically Zestimates offer a starting point, but they have a LARGE number of things that they CANNOT take into account. Even Zillow themselves puts a WIDE range on their estimates.

I looked at a brand new home recently in San Diego. You would think that new construction would be pretty easy to get an accurate Zestimate for. The Zestimate put their valuation at $743,799 when the home was listed for $768,000. Additionally, the zestimate RANGE said that it “could be worth” $705,000 to $781,000. This makes the zestimate practically useless.

Why can they NOT get it right? The answer is pretty simple. They can only look at data (like square footage for example) that is in the tax or other public records. They cannot take into consideration exterior condition, interior condition, interior amenities, or any other detail that is not provided in the public record.

The result of this is that we see inaccurate estimates.

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