Before I started selling Real Estate I was always on Zillow. It was one of the ah-ha moments in my life where I decided to do what I love and since I was obsessed with Zillow, I chose to begin a career in Real Estate. After I became a Real Estate agent, I broke up with Zillow and here’s why.
1. Zillow does not accurately tell sellers how much their home is worth! The only way to ultimately figure out how much your home is worth is to get an appraisal. If you want a free, accurate estimation of what your home might sell for, call a Realtor.
2. Realtors base their home estimates on the evaluation of what homes have sold in your area and how similar those sold are to yours. They also use multiple algorithms to determine your home’s value. Zillow uses ONE algorithm that is not very accurate. Even they admit to being off by anywhere from $17,000-$40,000 on average. YIKES!
3. Zillow does not factor in the specific aspects of your home that are geographically appealing. For example, a pool can be often viewed as a liability for buyers. They don’t want the hassle of having to ensure it is safe and well-maintained year-round. However, here in Arizona, a pool can be the defining feature of a home. It’s almost become a necessity to have one to survive the long, hot summers. So, when determining a home’s value, Zillow will be far off. A Realtor knows to add at least $12,000 to a home with a pool when compared to a home sold in the same area without a pool.
4. Zillow doesn’t live where you live. They aren’t a local expert like a Realtor is. Zillow has no idea which neighborhoods are selling faster than others and which are so HOT they should use the high-end estimated value rather than the mid or low range value. They also don’t know about community specific features like schools, parks, dining and other desirables buyers are willing to pay more for. In my community, we have an Elementary School that kids can walk to. Often times, if a home is within walking distance to the school it will sell faster. Of course, this only applies to families but our smaller, more affordable homes are built closest to the school for this exact reason.
5. Realtors featured on Zillow pay to be there! These are agents who have quite a bit of money to spend on a monthly basis because they are working like crazy. They are NOT the BEST agents you can work with nor will they necessarily fit with your personality or that of your significant other. They will tell you they can but remember, they are in the game to make as much money and close as many transactions as possible. Often this leads to them being overworked and unavailable.
So in the end, the break-up was necessary. It was healthy and dare I say has helped me grow as not only a person but also as a Realtor. This time, it wasn’t me, it was clearly them. So long Zillow!