Do you Zillow?
On the off chance you’re not familiar with Zillow.com, it is a popular real estate website for the general public. Although it doesn’t take the place of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), Zillow is one of the most helpful websites on the Internet for obtaining data and statistics about neighborhoods, homes for sale, your own home, your coworkers’ home…you get the picture.
Even though I’m a Realtor, I’m still a big Zillow fan. Of course, I’m on the real MLS every day, but I still check Zillow fairly often for certain types of information.
So what IS a Zestimate? Zillow has a proprietary algorithm for assigning an estimate of value to almost any property you might look at. Zillow calls that estimate the Zestimate.
The most important thing to understand about a Zestimate is that it is an estimate. And that the value is generated by a computer program. Zillow does not employ an army of appraisers to perform actual appraisals on all those properties! (I know, duh. But you’d be surprised…)
In fact, I’ve rarely seen a Zestimate for a specific home that really hit the mark. It’s just not possible for a computer program to know what your local appraiser knows – that the houses on the west side of Orange Street are all fancy estates worth five times the price of the average home on the east side of the street.
Real estate has often – and famously – been described as a local business. In some respects Zillow, and other public real estate sites, have changed that to allow people a thousand miles away to “shop online” for homes.
But as much as I like Zillow, I know that when it is time for a buyer or seller to get down to business, Zillow can’t replace a Realtor.
And I know two excellent Realtors! Give us a call today – 727.286.1249.Google+