First, what exactly is the Zillow Zestimate? The Zestimate is Zillow’s proprietary home valuation tool, which can deliver an online estimate of value for most homes in the U.S. It relies on both public and user-submitted data, and its accuracy is partially dependent on just how much relevant data is publicly accessible. Some homes, for example, may have an unknown number of bedrooms – which impacts Zillow’s ability to price it accurately.
How Zillow's Zestimate Works?
Zestimate launched in 2011 and was quickly an industry game changer. Its inception has been both welcome and controversial.
Zestimate was embraced by consumers, because it allows them to gain valuable information about their home’s worth with a single click. Before, this process may have involved identifying a lot of individual data points and talking to a local Realtor. Now, homeowners can do a quick, casual check on their home’s value every month if they want.
However, Zestimate has also been controversial, because it’s not an appraisal – but consumers often treat it like one, which can lead to a misunderstanding of how much their home is really worth. These misunderstandings can have real-world consequences if consumers misprice their homes. But more on this below.
How Accurate is Zestimate?
The Zestimate is often less accurate than using a Realtor’s estimate and can be thousands of dollars off. According to Zillow’s Zestimate page, “The nationwide median error rate for the Zestimate for on-market homes is 1.9%, while the Zestimate for off-market homes has a median error rate of 7.5%. This means that the Zestimates for half of all on-market homes are within 2% of the selling price, and half are not.”
This may seem like a negligible percentage – and for some homes, it is.
However, take the example of a home with a true value of $600,000. If the Zestimate is 7.5% off, the home Zestimate could be as high as $645,000 or as low $561,000. And 7.5% is only the U.S. median.
According to Real Estate Decoded, this breaks down to a typical error of $18,000 for an unlisted home.
How to get the most accurate price of your home’s value?
Contacting a trusted real estate agent in your area is the best way to get the most accurate price for your home – even Zillow agrees! As your local area specialist, we have the best tools to accurately price your home by taking into considerations all parameters of your home’s value. Give us a quick call us at or send us a message to chat about your homes value.