When Zillow first came out, real estate appraisers would often hear “Zillow says my home value is…”
This is usually followed by a cringed face and sigh. To put this debate to rest, our lead appraiser John did a sampling of recently appraised homes in Chicago to see how Zillow stacks up against a local real estate appraiser. We first started at what Zillow says about the accuracy of Zestimates.

How accurate is a Zestimate – according to Zillow?

First off, we think Zillow has done a very good job of distinguishing the most impactful differences in a home’s value. The more detailed information, the more accurate the estimate. They even go on to say a Zestimate is not a home appraisal and encourage buyers and sellers to get a house appraisal:

“The Zestimate’s accuracy depends on location and the availability of data in an area. Some areas have more detailed home information available — such as square footage and number of bedrooms or bathrooms — and other areas do not. The more data available, the more accurate the Zestimate value will be.

The Zestimate is not an appraisal and it should be used as a starting point. We encourage buyers, sellers and homeowners to supplement the Zestimate with other research such as visiting the home, getting a professional appraisal of the home, or requesting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent.”

Thank you Zillow! We appreciate the transparency along with the Zestimate data you provide for the real estate market.


Chicago Home Appraiser vs. Zillow’s Zestimate

With thousands of homes appraised within the past decade, our lead appraiser John used a sampling of recently appraised homes in Chicago and compared them Zillow’s Zestimates.

What this data suggests is 67% of the time Zillow does not have enough data to provide an accurate Zestimate. Not only have these discrepancies shown up in this experiment but we’ve seen these during real home appraisals and saved clients hundreds of thousands.

Don’t just rely on a Zestimate in order to avoid the home appraisal cost or you may end up overpaying or leaving thousands or tens of thousands on the table. For more information about other markets, learn about Zestimates discrepancies by city. Call us today or click on the free quote button to request an appraisal.

Thanks for reading!