Let’s Talk Zestimate’s
“But I saw my Zestimate, and it was…”. This is the same quote that every agent has likely heard before. What makes up a Zestimate? Is it accurate? Let’s chat about the good and bad with online home values.
Whether it be a Zestimate, Redfin estimate, or any online value provider, how do they know your home’s worth? It is all algorithms based on sales price, square footage, and neighborhood statistics. The number is only as accurate as the data that backs it up.
Here is where robots have their shortfalls. Maybe your home has incredible mountain views that other homes in your neighborhood don’t have. Is that view going to add value to your home over another similar property? Heck yes, it will! Views constitute a significant impact when homebuyers are shopping. On the other side of the spectrum, if your home backs up to a major interstate or road, that will affect your home value. Yes, it will. While the data can find a range that your home might be worth, some of the unseen factors play a critical role in your home’s value.
On the flip side, Zestimate can sometimes be much lower than what your home might be worth. In other cases, your Zestimate might be a bit more generous than the current market. For example, your home may or may not have been updated, had major backyard renovations, or environmental factors that either increase or decrease that value.
If the data isn’t everything, what’s the best way to determine your home’s actual market value?
Call your favorite Realtor and ask them! As a real estate agent, it is our job to help the public navigate the housing market. Your favorite Realtor can put together what’s called a CMA, a competitive market analysis. The CMA will break down all the home sales in your neighborhood, and based on your specific homes updates or non-updates, they can give you a very realistic home value. Not to mention, agents are in the trenches every day and know what your home should sell for. They see the inventory, know the buying patterns, and give you valuable info that an algorythym cannot. If you are friends with your favorite agent, they’ll do all of this for nothing!
While the internet is a fantastic resource, it is a good starting point for home values. The most significant piece of advice I can give is not to get married to that online value calculator. Your home could be worth quite a bit more or quite a bit less than those estimates. If you want the real deal, reach out to an agent you know, like, and trust and ask them!