Zillow.com – What’s Your House Worth?

The real estate world is abuzz about Zillow.com, which provides free, instant valuations of any house just by giving it an address. No e-mail required, no Realtor bugging you. It uses data from tax records and historical prices of homes selling in the neighborhood. You know every single homeowner that hears about this is going to type their address in. Thus, the site crashed promptly after its launch. But it’s back up for now.

Be aware that it is still in Beta, which means it doesn’t quite have all the data it needs to be accurate in all areas of the country. Read this Businessweek post ‘Zillow Goes Live–Too Soon?‘ for more details. I did my place and my parents’. Prices seemed on the low side to me.

Comments

  1. interesting concept, but the square footage is almost 500 sf off for my house!

  2. I have a new house in a new subdivision that we moved into in October. Zillow could not find my new house and the map showed the subdivision area with no houses on it.

    The house that I sold in September of 2005 returned a tax assessed value of ~$78k. I sold the house for $235k.

    This obviously needs some refinement.

  3. the valuation on my mom’s house is pretty right on. with the sale history, property tax ranges close too..

    there’s no info on sq ft. and all that but works pretty good. I think it all just depends on where the property is located and sources of info.

  4. Amusing, but valuations for houses in my neighborhood are low by 15-20%.

  5. The local comps are probably the most useful thing about this site, you can actually see what houses are selling for in your area.

    I’m sure there’s a reason why licensed appraisers are still employed ;)

  6. Wow, I can’t wait for my property next year. Looking at the chart over a 1 year period my house value increased by $50,000 (from Nov. 2005 – Feb 2006) and over the last 5 year my house value increase by 190%. I’m not sure if I should be jumping for joy that my house has increase in value or cry since my tax bill will take a good chuck out of my checking.

  7. Pretty amusing. Can you imagine if this hit the main stream and people actually start valuing based on the web site?

    My condo, which I sold in August, had a value of 5k less than the actual sales price. (Which was the record for the community ;) )

    My home, which I purchased in May, had a value of 110k more than when I purchased. I think it’s about 50k too high judging by recent sales.

    My mom’s home was about 40k over valued (16%).

    The tax information and prior sales for all properties was SPOT ON!

    Pretty neat use of google maps…. like Mapsexoffenders.com

    Next step: combine mapsexoffenders.com with zillow.com to show the value when your neighbor is an offender. ;)

  8. Mine came in about $0k to low. Than I realized it said it was a one bedroom and one bath. Once I added details to the actual house it came out almost dead on. Than I added the improvemts and I was real happy.

  9. I check both my old condo and my new home both prices came out wacko.

    I have had my old condo on the market for 2 months at a selling price of $825K and it said the value is $940K highest price ever paid in my building is $850K. There is another unit for sale in my building for $799K.

    I bought my new house for $1.1MM and it says it worth $868K. And my house is 2 blocks away from my condo. All the homes around me are $1MM+ only thing you can get around me for under $1MM is a condo.

  10. wow very interesting site, too bad i can’t get condo info for nyc area.

  11. If they go upon City/Town valuations, those valuations occur typically once in every 5 or so years. (Or they do rounds – like 20% of the town per year so that yours comes up once every 5 years)

    The only thing is if this site can take into affect current home sales in that neighborhood (if any) to help guage to ‘true’ value of the home. This would account for some of the valuation differences – no real live appraisors will not be out of a job, but this may give you a better idea as to what you can expect.

  12. This site’s “zestimates” are accurate. Proof?

    I spoke with my aunt, who has become an expert in vacation homes (she’s owned 12 over the past 30 years) and the valuations for her properties in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Florida are DEAD ON ACCURATE.

    She told me realtors will be extinct in two years (just as travel agents have become extinct). The reason: realtors make money by lying, deceiving, and withholding information from the buyers/sellers. Something had to come along and level the playing field. Finally…

    And to those who think “professional appraisers” are “professional”: get your head out of the sand. Appraisals are fabricated out of thin air.

    Zillow is the first (finally) of many sites we will see that “commoditize” real estate.

  13. I tried it too after I saw the news in the WSJ. Prices seem to be 5% low but that is probably the real price instead of what homeowners think their house should list for in the bay area. The complete home history was pretty accurate. I like it.

  14. Susannah says:

    Thanks for this site, seems like we should have sold last year. Oh well, my husband’s new employer is reimbursing all the expenses of it now, so looks like the decrease in value is really just a wash.

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