3 Big Reasons Why Buyers and Sellers Shouldn’t Rely on Zillow

Buying or selling a house is both exhilarating and overwhelming. With change on the horizon, you may be wondering what you need to do first to help you land your dream home in an ample amount of time. It isn’t unusual for homebuyers and sellers alike to go online to search for their next home or see what their current one is worth; often, Zillow is one of the first sites visited.

This is even true if you’re happy living where you are and have no plans to move. You might begin wondering what your home is really worth, so you jump on Zillow to look at your Zestimate. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself looking to see if the number’s changed more frequently than before, just to satiate your curiosity.

While Zillow can be a useful tool to homeowners, potential buyers, and realtors, there are a few crucial reasons why you should be wary of Zillow and other sites like Realtor.com and Trulia. Here are 3 reasons why you should give pause before heading to Zillow:

The Estimates Aren’t Necessarily Trustworthy – The number you see on a Zestimate is a combination of publicly available data about the home in question and neighboring houses that sold recently and the home’s features. Think of it as a rough draft, rather than a published novel. This draft is all based on an algorithm, not real money. In addition, no one from the company goes into any homes to see what they’re really worth. Only real estate agents and brokers will take all of your updates into account and provide you with an accurate appraisal.

It Won’t Work Magic – Maybe you don’t mean to really put stock in the number that Zillow gives you for your home’s appraisal, but as time passes, you may find that you have that number in mind as a benchmark to sell your home. Once you fixate on it, though, it can be difficult to pull away from it, regardless of the real-life appraisal you receive. Unfortunately, the Zestimate doesn’t always dictate what your home is truly worth, and there is no magic button that can increase your home’s worth to your ideal number.

Their Figures Are Often Outdated – Zillow doesn’t update its listings automatically, particularly the properties that are taken off the market. Additionally, according to Zillow itself, their Zestimate has a median error rate of 4.3%, which means that estimates should be within 4.3% of the home’s value half of the time. Ultimately, you’ll have to take what you see on Zillow with a grain of salt.

We realize that even though we may give you reasons to not visit Zillow, you may still wind up doing it anyway. We are naturally curious creatures, after all! But when it’s time for you to buy or sell real estate, go to a source that you can trust like Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties. Call us today at (314) 835-6000 to get started or visit us online at bhhsselectstl.com to view our listings!

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