Sun, April 21, 2024

Real Talk Real Estate: Zillow can drive you Zany!

Zillow is a big deal in Real Estate. They have a great platform that keeps up with all the active and pending listings from all the real estate boards nationwide. They keep the public informed with historical data and pictures of homes. For the most part, I feel like they add value to a very overwhelming space in the market. I have recommended their searching platform to countless buyers over the years and have adapted my business, knowing that to be successful, I need to see the value it brings to the home search and buyer support in Real Estate.

With all the things they do well, where do they miss the mark?

In the author’s opinion Zillow’s “zestimations” miss the mark more times than not.

The Zestimate has always presented challenges to Real Estate Agents. Realtors have had to defend and explain this to clients since they started advertising them in 2006.


According to Zillow’s website, The Zestimate® home valuation model is Zillow’s estimate of a home’s market value. A Zestimate incorporates public, MLS and user-submitted data into Zillow’s proprietary formula, also taking into account home facts, location and market trends. It is not an appraisal and can’t be used in place of an appraisal.

I have found that the Zillow Zestimate is typically wrong. For years they over or under value property more than they get it right. I believe this is because an algorithm cannot account for things that Realtors and Appraisers identify in person to adjust the value.

Shawna says things like a slope or crack in the driveway and other things you have to see and touch prevent Zillow from being as accurate as a Realtor or Appraiser on the ground in the CSRA.

A few examples would be the slope of the lot or driveway, the view from the backyard, the smell or cleanliness of the interior. This also cannot account for a bad layout inside the home or a home from 1950 that is completely renovated next door to one that has all original shag carpet and appliances.

The truth is a home has a feeling. When you walk into a home and through the yard, you can feel the life that has been lived there and experience the sense of what your life could be if you lived there. Yes, there are concrete statistics that are taken into account for the value of it, but there are also things that cannot be identified without physically being in the home and understanding the market the home is in. Be very cautious of any real estate agent who can give you a value without walking through your home.

The bottom line is you need a Realtor to attain a property value and this service is generally complimentary from your local real estate professional.

Shawna Woodward has been selling, buying, and managing residential real estate in the CSRA market since 2005 and loves all aspects of this business! Her son Braydon and her have created MHPAUGUSTA, which stands for Miracle Home Partners.

They make an average donation of $150 on behalf of each client they complete a transaction with. All donations stay here in Augusta at our local hospital.

Shawna has achieved the Re/Max Hall of Fame status, and consistently reaches the 100% club level or higher every year. You can email or visit or call 706-399-8707.

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