Truth About Zillow

Ahh, we all like to go on the internet, click on a few items and bingo, the answer to a complicated question is solved in under 20 seconds. Zillow and other AVM’s or (automated value models) allow you to get home values. The question is, are you getting a realistic value or just a number?

In Texas you cannot go on line and get what a home sold for. Only real estate professions have access to this information. Texans decided a long time ago they did not want their neighbors, family, friends, etc… to know what they paid for their property. So that information is private.

So the numbers that Zillow and AVM’s give you is just that, a number. Fun game to play, but if you really want to know what your home is worth you need a CMA, competitive market analysis or an appraisal.

Many times the Zillow and AVM’s don’t take into account location or condition. That is two of the most important factors in real estate. Here is an example. Let’s say you are in a part of a neighborhood that has a view. Zillow will also pull comparable sales from the part of the neighborhood without a view, pulling your value down. And on the flip side, if you live in the section without views, it will use comparables from the view side artificially inflating your value. If you are in a neighborhood with different sections, all the sections will be lumped together do to the geographic location model the AVM’s use to determine value. So have some fun, but don’t get the idea that this is your home’s real value.


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