June 15, 2016 Sue Dermott

Ask Lydia: Your Home Value – Is Zillow Accurate?

Real estate inventory in the Conejo Valley is historically low which means its still a seller’s market. It’s the summer season and interest rates remain low. There’s been talk that the Feds will raise rates by the end of the year, but right now buyers are buying and multiple offers are happening on well-priced homes. If you have been thinking of downsizing (or even upsizing), selling your home now can be to your advantage. Of course, when you begin to consider selling, some questions come to mind and I hope my thoughts below are helpful. If you have more specific questions pertaining to your home, please contact me at 818-383-4335 or ask away at asklydia@lydiagable.com as I am here for you and your home always.

How accurate is the Zillow zestimate?

Use the online home valuation tools as a beginning guide. Zillow just upgraded its valuation feature claiming it will be more accurate than before but it readily admits 50% will be off by more than 6% (it’s median rate of error)[1] It’s important that when selling a home, the value is determined by a top Realtor in your local area, not an internet website. A good Realtor will prepare a comparative market analysis (“CMA”) specific to your home. A CMA is an in-depth evaluation of recently sold “comparable” homes in the past 6-12 months and the valuation takes into account your home, it’s unique features, such as upgrades, backyards, views, and pools, the features of recently sold similar homes, the local area and neighborhood.

Should I price my home higher to leave room for negotiations?

In my mind, there are three strategies to price a home and I leave it up to the homeowner to decide what works. Price the home low with the hope of multiple offers. Price it right and it should sell quickly and close to its listing price. Price it high does leave room for negotiations, but you risk buyers hesitant to make an offer. In a tight market that we are in presently, my recommendation is to price it low or right. Remember, a good top Realtor will get you the most value for your home in the best time because he/she is an expert in your area. Happy selling and please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or need additional information: 818-383-4335.

[1] Todd Bishop, “Zillow Upgrade the Zestimate, promises lower error rate with newer algorithm,” http://www.geekwire.com/2016/zillow-launches-major-zestimate-update (June 8, 2016)

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