Zillow is cool.
I don’t want anyone to think that I’m out bashing Zillow for some reason… I think Zillow is a great product offering to those in the market for a home. They’ve clearly been successful at providing buyers the necessary online tools for doing research, comparing neighborhoods, etc.
However, too often I hear someone say, before making an offer, that “Zillow says it’s only worth $xxx,xxx.” I would like to point out that there is no Wizard of Zillow behind a curtain that is all-knowing when it comes to real estate values. By their own admission, Zillow is not 100% accurate and they’re very forthcoming with how accurate they actually are (see the next paragraph). Their valuation of a property is just an algorithm that takes in to account a bunch of sales data and then spits out a number (yes, I’m over-simplifying, but that’s basically it).
How accurate is a Zillow valuation?
Follow the link to see how accurate a Zillow valuation is. I won’t re-explain everything that they do on the site, because they do a good job of defining their terms and giving information in an understandable format.
I did do a little case study just to give a couple of examples from specific properties that have sold recently.
Example #1. 934 Waterman Rd. S.
- Zillow valuation at the time of sale = $388k
- Actual sales price on the date the Zillow valuation was pulled = $315k
- Margin of Error = 23% over priced
Example #2. 8402 Papelon Way
- Zillow valuation at the time of sale = $329,100
- Actual sales price 2 days before the date the Zillow valuation was pulled = $450k
- Margin of Error = 37% under priced
Yes. Zillow is a good tool for familiarizing yourself with neighborhoods in the Jacksonville area. But, when it comes to formulating an opinion about the value of a specific property… It’s best to incorporate a human element – A Jacksonville Realtor® for example – to get some real life information and assess one by one the comparable sales data.