Zillow Zestimates differ greatly from Actual Appraisals.
Zillow Zestimates are every homeowner’s best friend (and in a lot of cases their worst enemy). Hardly a week goes by that someone doesn’t say “Zillow Zestimate told me my home is worth (fill in the blank).”
These Zestimates that homeowners often present to appraisers can produce some interesting (and misleading) results. So much so, that I thought we could do a comparison of 12 randomly selected appraisals that were completed by our office and match them up against their Zillow Zestimates. Keep in mind that the appraisals have the benefit of a full property inspection by a human being. Zillow uses public records and complex algorithms. Here are the results.
|Lafayette Hill house||Appraisal: $600,000||Zillow: $529,000||
|Oreland house||Appraisal: $230,000||Zillow: $209,500||
|Gladwyne house||Appraisal: $585,000||Zillow: $633,500||
|Roxboro twin||Appraisal: $206,000||Zillow: $186,300||
|Conshohocken house||Appraisal: $350,000||Zillow: $279,600||
|Blue Bell house||Appraisal: $335,000||Zillow: $314,900||
|Chestnut Hill twin||Appraisal: $300,000||Zillow: $334,200||
|East Falls twin||Appraisal: $411,000||Zillow: $427,100||
|Center City condo||Appraisal: $755,000||Zillow: $634,200||
|Penn Valley house||Appraisal: $585,000||Zillow: $561,000||
|Rittenhouse Square townhouse||Appraisal: $1,900,000||Zillow: $898,700||
|Chester Springs home||Appraisal: $1,000,000||Zillow: $871,700||
As you can see there are pretty significant deviations between the appraised value and the Zillow Zestimate. In one case, Zillow was off by more than 111% (this seems like a fluke) but, in other examples as close as 3.77% (not bad!).
Bottom line, Zillow is a tool…a starting point. It’s wonderful for neighborhood data, graphs and general sales information. It’s probably not the best place if you’re looking for assistance with making definitive decision.