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Nov 17

Zillow Zestimates differ greatly from Actual Appraisals

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

(-11.83%)

Oreland house Appraisal: $230,000 Zillow: $209,500

(-9.78%)

Gladwyne house Appraisal: $585,000 Zillow: $633,500

7.66%

Roxboro twin Appraisal: $206,000 Zillow: $186,300

(-10.57%)

Conshohocken house Appraisal: $350,000 Zillow: $279,600

(-25.17%)

Blue Bell house Appraisal: $335,000 Zillow: $314,900

(-6.38%)

Chestnut Hill twin Appraisal: $300,000 Zillow: $334,200

10.23%

East Falls twin Appraisal: $411,000 Zillow: $427,100

3.77%

Center City condo Appraisal: $755,000 Zillow: $634,200

(-19.05%)

Penn Valley house Appraisal: $585,000 Zillow: $561,000

(-4.28%)

Rittenhouse Square townhouse Appraisal: $1,900,000 Zillow: $898,700

(-111.4%)

Chester Springs home Appraisal: $1,000,000 Zillow: $871,700

(-14.72%)

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.

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