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Why You Can’t Trust Zillow’s “Zestimate”


We get it. Zillow is convenient. With just a few clicks you get an estimate, or “Zestimate,” of your home’s value. The problem though is the amount of confidence home buyers and sellers put into the Zestimate of a home. Sellers who see their home with a high Zestimate want to list for that price and buyers who see a home they want to buy with a lower Zestimate than the asking price question what to offer.

The follow-up question always is, “why is the Zestimate not accurate?” The short answer is it’s a computer estimating the value of a home without seeing it. In order to illustrate this more, here are several reasons why you can’t trust Zillow’s Zestimate.

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Zestimate Formula

Zillow uses a formula with several factors to calculate the home’s estimate. This includes public data, the current market, data generated by users, and the location of the home. The problem with using a formula alone is Zillow doesn’t see the house before generating an estimate. This is especially important if you made updates to your home. You certainly want those to be accounted for in your home’s value. While a computer-generated home estimate is a good launching point, it’s not reliable enough for decision making.

Incorrect or Missing Data

Another problem with Zillow’s Zestimate is some of the facts they use to determine the home estimate may be missing or incorrect. When this happens it completely skews the results and most of the time users do not even know the Zestimate was calculated with missing or incorrect data. This happens a lot with user-generated data. Since anyone has the ability to update the home’s data, it may not always be correct. With public data, sometimes it’s not as readily available in different locations as in others.


It’s important to know that online home estimates are the starting point. Contacting a trusted real estate professional is always your best bet when your inquiring about a home value. Get a FREE home estimate right here on our website. What makes our home estimate different than Zillow’s Zestimate? As soon as you receive your instant home valuation, our team will send you a comparative market analysis (CMA) of your property. This detailed packet gives you a better understanding of your home’s value and neighborhood. Give us a call at 615.469.1412 to get started!



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