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  • Is Zillow Zestimator accurate for Utah?

    Posted on June 7th, 2010 admin No comments

    When working with clients I always get the eventual question about Zillow and its estimate of value for a given property.  The question usually arises when an purchase offer conflicts with what “Zillow says”.
    Zillow has spent an incredible amount of time, effort and money to create a dynamic and comprehensive real estate database for the nation.  The result is very impressive and can sometimes appear to be infallible.  However the data that they automatically mine is from public records and voluntary input from users which is only as accurate as the source.
    Utah is a non-disclosure state, which means that the sales price of real property (your home) is not a matter of public record.  It isn’t secret.  But it is normally only available to professionals who subscribe to the local multiple listing service that is maintained by and for real estate professionals.  Zillow does not have access to this information which is why the Zestimator can be highly inaccurate for our area.  Zillow currently shows a 13.8% median error for Salt Lake County.
    I usually advise clients to use the Zesitmate over a period of time to show trends in value change and not as a precise evaluation of their property value.  Almost every sale that I have participated in since Zillow started has closed with at least a $10,000 price difference.  Don’t get the idea that I don’t like Zillow, I use it to market my client’s homes, but it is only one of many tools that real estate agents should use to get the job done.

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