Idaho Real Estate >> ID Real Estate Specialist

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Another example of the failings of Zillow!

At our office meeting the top of Zillow came up.  It is no secret to any of you that know me that I have never, ever been a fan of Zillow and in fact have been very critical.  My point is this:  If homes are appreciating at 3% a year in Seattle Washington and depreciating 6% or more in Detroit Michigan with the rest of the country somewhere in between, how can any national company accurately value homes day in and day out?

In our office meeting are Broker mentioned that some of his clients went on-line to Zillow's website and were told their home was worth around $210,000.  Our Broker stated after doing a good market analysis the final list price was $123,000!

I spoke to some other agents after the meeting and many of the their clients are logging onto Zillow and being deceived as to the true market value of their homes.

There is no replacement for a true professional REALTOR and no website or national company of any kind is ever going to simplify the process.

Posted By: George Tallabas - Boise Idaho Real Estate Agent - Associate Broker 
with RE/MAX Advantage, Canyon Counties #1 Brokerage in sales and listings
specializing in Boise Idaho Real Estate and Southwest Idaho Real Estate.

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comment balloon 37 commentsGeorge Tallabas • March 18 2008 07:48PM

Comments

Zillow makes me crazy.  I think it is the worst idea to ever propogate on the internet (Ok, maybe not the worst, but pretty darned irritating).  There is no way ZIllow can know the particulars of an area.  There can be homes in one development comapared with totally dissimilar homes in another.  I have also seen it using trust deed conveyances between family members as comparables. 
Posted by Mark Hawley (Keller Williams Realty) about 11 years ago
Mark - Someone that actually agrees with me 100%!  Thank You!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago
George...... AMEN!!!   I agree with you, completely.  
Posted by Christine Bohn, The Bohn Team, Gainesville FL (RE/MAX Professionals) about 11 years ago
Christine - Thank you!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago

Honestly speaking,I just don't know what the whole big deal with Zillow. No machine,company or website will replace the true value that real estate professionals bring to home buyers and sellers. Great post George.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) about 11 years ago
Lanrae - Thank you my friend and I hope all is well!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago

I also agree.

 I've had clients excited about what they think is a great deal on a property, when they compare it to the prices they see on Zillow.  However, I end up explaining that they're giving you comps of properties that had sold 2 and 3 years ago, not true comparables  inaccurate info.   Zillow causes me more work explaining their errors, and I cringe when clients tell me they've been looking at their site.

Posted by Paul Kaplan, Mid Century/Modern homes in Palm Springs - www.Pau (The Paul Kaplan Group, Inc) about 11 years ago
I agree. Who came up with the name zillow any way? What does it mean? Their web site isn't even very impressive. I still contend outside the real estate industry most people have never heard of zillow. I have asked a number of people lately if they have heard of zillow, they look at me kind of blank ,what is that? they ask. So I don't have to worry about sellers I meet having some stupid valuation on their home. Long may that continue.
Posted by Alan Brown, 26 Years of Real Estate Experience . (Coldwell Banker Montrose Colorado) about 11 years ago

George - Zillow is the absolute worst representation of market values that I have seen.  I have had clients tell me they looked on Zillow and found that the home they were interested in had a market value of $250,000 so they wanted to write an offer right away because the list price was only $135,000.  In actuality the market value was $135,000 - $145,000 and there was a lot of room to negotiate the price.  

I don't know how they are coming up with their numbers, but it has no bearing on any market that I have dealt with.  They should put a disclaimer on their site stating that their numbers are pure guesses and that they should be verified by a Real Estate Professional. 

Posted by Carol Smith (Casmi Photography) about 11 years ago

Paul - Thanks for your comments and I have strong opionions and ammunition when I hear the word Zillow!

Alan - I would have respected the name if their business made sense but in this case the name and the business is warped!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago
Carol - Very, very true my friend.  I have never been a fan of Zillow and made my opinion clear when the company was first announced. 
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago
I agree, Zillow is a joke at best.  Maybe it works for a few tract developments in a large metropolitan area - like Chicago - BUT, any numbers I've checked on in my area are wrong.  Sellers doubt my information - do you BELIEVE that!  Just because something on the internet tells them their home is worth more.... you get the idea.  As more and more consumers see that their model doesn't work, they will go by the wayside of all the dotcoms that do nothing!
Posted by April Hayden-Munson, Brookfield Wisconsin Real Estate about 11 years ago
April - Hang in there and keep up the battle against this!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago

Hanna-Barbera, Warner Brothers, Looney Tunes, Marvel Comics, Mad Magazine, Zillow, World Weekly News, The Tattler, Police Detective, Amazing Stories, any "Reality" TV.

The list goes on and on...

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) about 11 years ago
George- I agree with you.  I live in an area that has custom homes and you can't compare them to homes that are tract housing in a different suburb.  My next door neighbor's home is over 900,000 and my value plummeted because they are comparing mine to a subdivision in a different town with values under 300,000.  I'm glad that I haven't run into too many sellers who have used zillow as a comparison when I am giving them a CMA. 
Posted by Laura Karambelas, Realtor - Downers Grove (Baird & Warner Downers Grove) about 11 years ago

Hi George - I have always thought that the notion that a national website company like Z could never come anywhere close to telling people what the values are all around the country.  There's no way they could know the vagaries between neighborhoods, what might be across the street-good or bad, the amenities in any given house, etc., etc.  Your post proves it once again - too bad consumers don't get the fallacies with that site as well.

Ann

Posted by Ann Cummings, Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent (RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine) about 11 years ago
George, they can't do without us!  We MUST be the authority in our industry and help people with right choices!  Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Don Wixom, "Looking out for your next move..."tm (RE/MAX Advantage Nampa, ID) about 11 years ago

Mike - LOL!

Laura - Thanks for sharing and good luck to you

Ann - Very true my friend and I agree with you

Don - So true my friend and thanks for sharing your experience with us all this a.m.!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago

The zillow zestimates are VERY inaccurate and the general public expects the zestimate is accurate, they can't do a market analysis like we can.  I've heard they are trying to work on this but haven't seen results yet.

Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE) about 11 years ago
A quick and easy argument to make to the seller is this. Real Estate is all Local. In each of our own communities we have neighborhoods that have very diverse price ranges. In fact some of those same neighborhoods can be broken down street by street and the values are vastly different. How then can some marketing corporation ever hope to replace the hands on analysis that will be required to make that determination. The Answer is NEVER!
Posted by Herb Hamilton, Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland (RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors) about 11 years ago
I have to agree. It confuses the buyer and seller. Who wins?
Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 11 years ago

Herb - So very true my friend

Larry - Thank you!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago

Great subject and definitely timely.  If we keep up with our own local numbers, it is easy to present the pricing issues to clients, no matter what Zillow says.


Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing about 11 years ago

George,

Zillow is so way off their pricing here...I even tried to compare my own home and other homes...way way off. I would rather give my own price ranges or even use the Broward market values.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

Suzie - Thank you and have a great day!

Neal - So true....we could throw a dart at a dart board and be closer to accurate pricing than Zillow is!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago
George, they are almost always off in Ann Arbor. Lower than asking price so I don't put mine on there unless I know the zeestimate is at that price or more. The buyers then look at that and want to offer that price.
Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 11 years ago
Missy - Zillow is so off on all parts of the country.  Don't pay any attention to them my friend!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago
George, you can't replace a good realtor with all his statistics in order.  Our local MLS sites are wise not to release all the information that make us useful to the public.
Posted by Kay Van Kampen, Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate (RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX) about 11 years ago
Kay - So very true my friend.  Thank you so much for stopping by.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago
Our office had a deal fall out because of a Zillow Estimate just a couple of weeks ago.  My home shows up a million dollars over actual market value.  But hey, if a buyer wants to pay Zillow's estimate, I'll take it!
Posted by Sandra Carlisle (Ayers), Real Estate Marketing & Sales (Berkshire Hathaway California Properties) about 11 years ago
Sandra - This does not surprise me. I have said it all in my post.  Good luck to you.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago

Great post George, Zillow is like that lazy incompetent in everyones marketplace that continues to price properties incorrectly, market them poorly but yet for some reason has some credibility with the general public.  I HATE ZILLOW.

Brian Bartley

Posted by The Bartley Group SouthEast MN Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Home Connection) about 11 years ago
Brian - I am right with you in your opinion of Zillow.  One can look back in early 2007 and find where I wrote anti Zillow posts when many were excited about Zillow. Zillow has been no service at all to the public. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and have a great evening.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago
I feel the same way about zillow.com.  I see myself being comfronted by sellers who insist their property is valued more than the CMA I gave them and guess where these information are coming from?  You guessed it - zillow!
Posted by Tina Farinas, REALTOR, ABR, GRI, SFR, CHS, e-PRO (Fusion Real Estate Network, Inc.) about 11 years ago
Tina - The next time your sellers mention Zillow ask them to provide you with the comps and adjustments from Zillow to prove how they arrived at the price.  The commerce department needs to get involved and investigate what I strongly feel is deception.  Thanks for your input!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago
George, I have and most of the time, they could never provide what I asked.  You know, I am just waiting for the demise of zillow because I feel like you do, their practices are deceptive.  Only time will tell...
Posted by Tina Farinas, REALTOR, ABR, GRI, SFR, CHS, e-PRO (Fusion Real Estate Network, Inc.) about 11 years ago
Tina - Thank you and I am also waiting fo the demise of a deceptive company like Zillow.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago

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