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August 15, 2016

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Did you also read that the Zillow CEO paid more than the 'zEstimate' on the house he just bought?

I use it for calculating net worth because it feels directionally accurate, but when it comes time to buy or sell I've learned to trust an experienced realtor.

Zillow is fun to monitor for new listing, but not very reliable.

I highly recommend everybody take a 8% - 10% DISCOUNT to what the house value says on Zillow if it has all the data.

Better to be conservative. For one SFH I own in SF, I'm taking a 20% discount of $500,000+. It is crazy.

It's Free! It has a lot of information. I enjoy it. I won't get mad at them for not being perfect if I am not paying.

It's my go to site for real estate reference.

Please send me the URL to your new site. Thanks!

I find that Zillow usually undervalues homes in my area by up to 20%. For a free tool, it's nice to have. But if I were in the market to buy or sell, I wouldn't get excited by Zillow estimates until I ran a few comps.

The ZEstimates can't be that accurate because they generally (always?) don't know the condition or quality of the house. As far as I can tell, they really just know location, size, and statistics like bedrooms, bathrooms, HVAC, and parking spaces. Maybe some flooring info.

That said, I love Zillow. Every 6 months or so I use it as a research tool by looking at recently sold properties in the vicinity of my rental properties. Rather than looking at ZEstimates, I get actual comps from it. It helps me determine the actual value of the homes and my actual equity.

I believe the realtors manipulate the prices on Zillow. We are in the process of selling our house. When our realtor came by with his assessment, the next day the Zestimate reflected the number we were quoted. The number changed quite a bit from the previous day.

Glad you are back FMF. :)

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