Mimi Foster, Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor (Falcon Property Company)

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Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Sellers:    No Lender, no Appraiser will use Zillow when they are deciding whether or not to originate a mortgage loan on your house.

Buyers:   This is a computer algorithm that may be rife with errors.  Read the Zillow fine print - by their own admission, they may be off by 20%.

Mar 26, 2016 12:57 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

I tell them that Zillow has no way of taking into account the nuances of the local market that we know as REALTORS.  I have also been known to say that Zillow is the bane of our existence as a professional real estate agent.

Mar 26, 2016 12:30 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I tell them Zillow using general data from the area and neighborhoods surrounding the property and there is no way to know the condition, amenities and how one house compares to another Zillow has never been inside the neighborhoods or the homes.The result is a very general price range that has an error market of 20%.

Mar 26, 2016 10:53 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Mimi Foster - for both buyers and sellers, I share a link provided by ZILLOW itself - How Accurate Zillow Zestimates are.

They understand the facts from horse's mouth.

Mar 26, 2016 03:36 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski
Coldwell Banker Realty - Woodbridge, VA
Helping agents live an exceptional life!

I explain that it is based on computer algorithms, but I also check Zillow prior to a listing appointment because it almost always comes up. It is easier to explain why the comps they use don't work, or to explain that Zillow doeasn't take into account remodels, renovations, and "extras" that could be seen to add or subtract value.

Mar 27, 2016 03:06 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Fortunately, my target demographic are NOT Zphiles. But my answer is "It says my house is worth LESS. And it hasn't been to your house or mine. Now let's look at some actual data that pertains."

Mar 26, 2016 10:58 AM
Compass - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Partner - The Private Client Network

Zillow or an AVM is not able to make price adjustments based on lot location (culdesac), view on west side of same street versus east side, or finishes remodeled versus original 1990's. 

Mar 26, 2016 10:35 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

when someone is hung up on zestimates I show them actual sold prices vs. zestimates and it usually ends it.

Mar 27, 2016 03:29 PM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Tell the seller "Zillow hasn't been inside your house". Zillow doesn't differentiate between to seemingly identical homes, with one home being under a high-voltage trunk power line or adjacent to a railroad track, or next to a freeway with sodium vapor lights and truck noise and the other home is not influenced by those factors.

Zillow knows nothing about the condition and cleanliness of a home they are "Zestimating". Zillow overlooks items like high ceilings, or premium trim and finishes.  Zillow knows nothing about home improvements made recently unless the home has been recently assessed and the data has found its way into county records.

In exurbia or other low population density areas, Zillow is worthless. Without enough comparables (and without plenty of recent comparables), these estimates are nothing but speculation.

Mar 27, 2016 09:04 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Basically what Fred Griffin said. I also ask them if the Z estimate were low would they still want to use it.  

Mar 27, 2016 01:00 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

That it is impossible to place a value on a home without seeing it and considering location, lot value and adding or deducting for condition, amenties, garage, finished basements, new kitchens and such

Mar 26, 2016 11:20 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

What Fred Griffin said! If you explain how Zillow comes up with its numbers in a way that your clients understand, they get it.

Mar 26, 2016 11:04 PM
Christopher Pagli
William Raveis Legends Realty Group - Tarrytown, NY
"I Stay Open Until You Close"

I tell them that the Zillow valuation tool is a "ballpark" figure to be used as a guide.  The sales people at Zillow will tell you the same thing.  The important factor is, no online valuation tool can determine an appropriate value without physically seeing the property.  Adjustments might need to be made and certain features taken into consideration that these sites won't know about.  Anyone that relies on these online valuations is showing they are really "green" and need our guidance.

Mar 26, 2016 09:24 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


You have great answers.  The fact is that Zillow has not been inside their home, which is why it is an estimate.  Wishing you a delightful Sunday, A

Mar 26, 2016 02:11 PM
Anthony Acosta - ALLATLANTAcondos.com
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

The information is not accureate 

Mar 26, 2016 12:54 PM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Ask if they want the real take on this issue or the sugar-coated one.

Mar 26, 2016 12:27 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

As a real estate professional if I could be 15 to 20% off on my appraisal value of your home property and still stay in business I would call myself Xillow.  I am required to be within 1 to 3% of your house value....

Mar 26, 2016 10:53 AM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

What was the agent's name that Zillow sent out?


Mar 28, 2016 02:46 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I once worked with a seller who called me every day or so to tell me how the price of her home had gone up or gone down in Zillow. Like it was the stock exchange. She was crazy. Of course, her home did not sell.

I tell callers that Zillow is a great website for demographics, market movement, local information but it is not a predictor of saleability of their home nor its value. It is not a conglomerate of all homes for sale. In fact, a good number of homes for sale on Zillow are NOT for sale. Zillow is not a Realtor. It's a website looking for eyeballs.

Mar 28, 2016 01:54 AM
Kevin Morris
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodrick Realty - Danville, PA
Real Estate agent serving danville and surrounding

Hi Mimi, 

What Fred said is right in my opinion, 

People see the numbers from Zillow and think that they can go with this info. It supprises me that that site is ever used. It even has listings in my market that have been under contract for 6 months or more. 


Mar 27, 2016 11:06 AM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

I tell them that Zillow is not an expert in our area, and they seriously suck.  

Mar 27, 2016 10:11 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

When were they last here?

Mar 26, 2016 11:57 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

It is an AVM and like many it is like being a Walmart greeter, it's a nice introduction but is the merchandise worth buying?

Mar 26, 2016 10:48 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Great opinions are local and professional. Me or Zillow?

Mar 26, 2016 09:47 PM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Mimi. I hear the Zillow conversation from time to time when I'm doing a refinance for clients, it usually isn't difficult to explain the reality that the information is totally flawed.

Mar 26, 2016 07:22 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I explain how Zillow works and why the data are so often wrong. And showing them comparables helps to show how wrong it can be, and often is

Mar 26, 2016 10:57 AM
Fathom Realty Group Inc.
Fathom Realty Group Inc - Orange, CA
Get Paid what your WORTH!

Simply  just not true. The problem is it accounts for distressed and quick sales that lower value.

Mar 30, 2016 02:28 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Zillow is a national web site with filtered information that lacks information on a local level in order to be a reliable source.

Mar 29, 2016 01:09 AM
Chris Lima
Turtle Reef Realty - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

I had one where I was selling her property and searching for a new property.  She insisted on making lowball offers with the "guidance" of Zillow. Finally, I became so frustrated that I took my phone, plugged in her current property's address and low and behold, there was her property with a Zestimate that was 15k-20k less than the property was actually worth. I just handed her the phone and from that day forward, the lowballing stopped.

Mar 29, 2016 12:01 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Showing the true comparables to support a price you feel the home is worth should dispel the Z results.

Mar 28, 2016 12:18 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

I explain mls records true sold prices.

Mar 27, 2016 10:37 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

In my market, a small rural one, the information to swoop in and suck out to assemble back in the west coast sausage machine is easy to explain. I show them here is a house we sold for blank that was way off with the Z estimate. But I really don't deal with this little talk much because other portals, our own create the buzz. Zillow is just one of many portals. Your own website should be richer, fuller, with video, blog posts on pertinent topics and all over local. Zillow is just one take an agent/broker's listings and get those real estate professionals to compete with each other financial for better positioning. Build your own better mousetrap as the local expert we all are suppose to be right? You and I don't know the value until we tour, compare, ask lots of questions and consider many factors beyond assessed value from four years or more and only so many sales in a small Mayberry size type market.

Mar 27, 2016 08:38 PM
Dan Tabit
Keller Williams Bellevue - Sammamish, WA

I've blogged on this for a longer answer, but in short, 

It's a Z-Estimate, not a Z-Appraisal!  

No one at Zillow has seen the home, knows what's been done or needs doing.  I have. 

Mar 27, 2016 03:24 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

"Zillow will tell you anything to get you to fill out those forms so that they an sell your name to an agent, and none of it is true"

Mar 27, 2016 07:44 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

It's almost gotten to the point where people have an apologetic "I know, I know . . . you don't like Z," and then send me the link to the property they found.  My spiel is that the RMLS (my local MLS) is the BIBLE when it comes to local evaluations, selling comps.  

Mar 27, 2016 06:10 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I show them the current MLS data and explain what is the difference betwee my personalized CMA and Zestimate. 

Mar 27, 2016 05:41 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

"Many real estate boards in the country, including all the local ones, no longer provide data to Zillow, therefore their data is inaccurate and flawed.  Would you want to go to a doctor who didn't have all the latest and most accurate information?  Neither would I.  That's the same for the Zestimate."


A bit wordy, but it works.

Mar 27, 2016 04:52 AM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

I tell them Zillow is using general public information and has now way of know what updates are in a home.  I have seen Zillow prices way over and way under a house has just sold.  

Mar 27, 2016 03:28 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Has Zillow been in your home?

Let's check the comps they are using.


Mar 27, 2016 03:27 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

I suggest they review David Barr 's website!! 

Mar 27, 2016 03:13 AM
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

I have a Zillow "zestimate" on a sold home that blows that number out of the water.  If there is still skepticism, I show them listings that are closed but still show on the site.  It doesn't take long for a consumer to see that Zillow is not a reliable site.

Mar 27, 2016 02:21 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Do not rely on internet figures on the value of your home.

Mar 27, 2016 02:10 AM
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

NM is a non disclosure state so there is no way Z can have correct numbers.

Mar 27, 2016 12:15 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I show them  the sold comps.

Mar 26, 2016 11:00 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

"Wonderful. So Z-devil says your home is worth $318,000!"

That is when I pull out the consumer page of the CIS Score and show them a B of A evaluation and the tax authorities evaluation and the Cis Score evaluation and market adjusted value.

"Here are three more numbers declaring the value of your property. The difference in all these numbers, and identifying  the one you should trust, is knowing EXACTLY how those calculations were made. Better still, YOU are the one who provided the data for the CIS Score! Which number gives you the greatest confidence?"

Mar 26, 2016 10:45 PM
Toronto, ON

I have never had such a talk with anyone.  If anyone would ask, I would simply state that Zillow does not offer its products in our great nation and it is geared towards properties in our friendly neighbouring country.

Mar 26, 2016 05:10 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

 People do not ask that questions anymore.  Each site has an estimate. Z and Trulia are same company they have their own estimates.  If you use bankers estimator BofA, Wells Fargo and JPM got theirs. Realtor and Homes got their estimates. Redfin has its own.

Owners get dizzy needing a professional.

Mar 26, 2016 12:03 PM
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Conroe/Willis, TX

I had this happen recently and I just let them know that the 3 different offers we received say something else.  

Mar 30, 2016 04:41 AM