“Is Zillow right about my house?” It depends.

"Zillow says my house is worth $500,000, so that's how much I should list it for, right?" Hold up. Let's talk.

  • 2 mins read
  • March 21, 2019

Knowing the value of your home is essential to not only marketing your house appropriately, but for many other reasons that are unrelated to a sale. You may need the current home value for tax purposes, or for your insurance company. Or perhaps you bought your house for less than 20% down, and you want to get rid of your monthly PMI payments. Or for less pleasant reasons, like divorce.

The proliferation of auto valuation websites like Redfin or Zillow is nothing new. They’re basically using the same technique your County Assessor uses to calculate your property tax payments.  That Zillow or Redfin estimate on your house (or your tax assessed value, for that matter) aren’t necessarily accurate or inaccurate. What they almost always are is…wildly different from each other.

Sometimes your Zestimate or Redfin estimates can differ from each other by tens of thousands of dollars. I’ve even seen six figure differences in valuations. Will your house sell if you’re off by $100,000? Or what if you lost out on an extra $100,000 you could have made? I’ve even seen Zillow and Redfin differ from each other about the number of bathrooms in a house!

And that’s not even considering the factors computers can’t comprehend. Like that really nice westward-facing view from your deck. Or your brand new remodeled kitchen. Or the “flow” of your main floor room layout.

Automated valuation services are a great starting point. But at the end of the day, there’s no substitute for understanding which properties are actually competing with your home. As both a residential appraiser and a Realtor, let me tell you what that actually means: not only what those comps are selling for, but also how the overall housing market will influence those prices, and how that is all ultimately reconciled into your home’s real market value: what someone will actually pay for it in a typical transaction.

Interested in understanding your home’s actual market value for any reason? Email me anytime at andersibsen@windermere.com