Do you ever find yourself curious what your house is worth? You really are not thinking of selling so you do not want to call a realtor. So you decide that your best bet is to go to Zillow and check the Zestimate for your home. Now you have a number, but is it accurate? Zestimate’s accuracy depends on the data that is available to Zillow. Some counties have very detailed information available to the public about a property, including bedrooms, baths and square footage, other counties do not. The more data available, the more accurate the Zestimate of Value. But Zillow cannot find out that you have installed granite countertops in your kitchen, that you recently added central air conditioning or that you recently removed aging landscaping and completely re-landscaped your yard. Completing any of those things could certainly affect value of your home and make your home worth more.
Zillow’s accuracy has a median error rate of 5%. That means that half of the homes that Zillow values are within 5% of sales price and half are off by more than 5%. If a real estate agent was off that far on the value of your home they would not stay in business.
Zillow can provide you with a number and knowing that that number can be off by 5% gives you a rough idea of value. A “just for fun” number. Nothing beats the accuracy of a real estate agent coming out, going through your home and being told of all recent improvements and upgrades. Then having that agent go back to the office and sift through recent sales and current market to arrive at a value. So depending on the importance of the number you decide whether you consult Zillow or your favorite agent, Lestel.