But ZILLOW Says!!!…

As a Realtor, this seems to be brought up in every listing appointment I have ever been on. Even if it’s brought in-part to say they don’t believe it. That’s the power of Zillow. I will be the first to admit that it bothers me that so many put value on the “Zestimate” more than a hired professional, but I believe that’s an education thing. So, I’m here to educate the 3 people that will probably read this in hopes it spreads like wildfire due to you sharing it.

Zillow’s Zestimate is an algorithm. It doesn’t go to your home, it doesn’t have pics of your home. It knows nothing…except for square footage and lot size that is disclosed in property taxes. Is it accurate?? Sometimes spot on. We owe that to them to give them credit. If you live in a newer community, all the homes are similar in size and appointed similarly, then it’s an easy call. They look at past sales, and use their system to say what it’s worth. If you have any differing features (lot size, corner lot, upgrades etc) that needs to be taken into account. That’s why you ask me to come over and look and show you the difference in what has sold vs what you have.

Home values now are weighed and judged about 90% on what has SOLD. Appraisers don’t care that a house is on the market…they want it SOLD. Every once in a great while, they will use a pending sale to add to their appraisal if comps are too few to give them their 3-6 comps. The other 10% of the appraisal/value really comes down to fit and finish. What’s the condition of your home?? That will be weighed a lot more than you having a similar home.

Being realistic is of utmost importance. Knowing what your home is worth, and what it COULD be worth is a very valuable thing in selling. I listed a home recently. I sat in their den months prior and gave them comps and told them what I thought. I was honest, and business-like in my approach and I was received well. The sellers not only listened, but jumped to work and made that house sing. The photos turned out great and most people assumed the home was staged. Comps at the first meeting showed the home worth $290,000. We listed at $310,000 and received 9 offers was in 3 days, and the home appraised at $310,000…the sellers sold for $20,000 MORE  because they prepared properly and blew the other “comps” out of the water. The Zestimate shows the home at $298,000. I’d say $310,000 is far better.

How did they beat the Zestimate?? They made the house the best comp in the neighborhood, and made decisions based on what has SOLD previously and knew that condition was their way to get the most value. No time and money to add a pool or a bedroom…elbow grease, paint and carpet was enough good to put more money in their pocket at the end.


I have several stories I can share about sellers who were very deliberate in their actions before selling and sold their house for top dollar, and fast. It’s all about education and preparation. I can help with both!!

If you’re interested in talking to me about selling your home, I’d love to talk to you!!


Scott Gieser is a REALTOR and owner of NextHome Citrus City in Riverside Ca. Located in the Brockton Arcade at 6370 Magnolia Ave, Riverside 92506. He can be reached at 951.531.3621