Should you trust Zillow Zestimate when pricing your home?

March 27, 2017 by The727Team

Zestimate is a starting point and doesn’t consider all the market intricacies that can determine the actual price…

So you’re considering selling your home sometime this year. You’ve noticed a few of your neighbors homes have sold recently so you pull up Zillow to see how that has affected your home’s value. Zillow has a feature called “Zestimate” which is a  sort of clever way to combine two words – Zillow and estimate.

The Zestimate is based on an algorithm which computes your estimated home value. This algorithm analyzes sold home values in your neighborhood and bases your home value on factors such as bedrooms/bathrooms, year built and square footage.

The big question is, should I trust this estimate? The short answer is no. There are other factors that can’t necessarily be analyzed by a computer. The most common factor is the interior.

What kind of upgrades does this house have? Has it been taken care of? How new are the big ticket items such as the roof, electrical, HVAC and plumbing?

One other thing that Zillow cannot recognize is trends. I’ll give you an example. We sold a house last year that had a Zestimate of about $70,000.

The house itself was nothing special, a 3 bedroom / 1 bath with only about 800 square feet. It was an older house on a busy street with minimal upgrades. What I recognized when listing this house is that it was located on mixed use commercial/residential property in the rapidly growing Grand Central District.

It’s almost unbelievable how fast this area has grown. In the past 3 years the Grand Central District has seen dozens of bars, restaurants, microbreweries and artist shops open up.

I knew that not only did people want to live there to be part of the action but also that the land was valuable for developers that may want to tear the house down and build a business. We listed it at 120k and settled on a cash offer of 115k the first day on market.


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There are other trends that can only be recognized by someone who lives here and has some insight into where the city is going. A big thing that is happening in St. Pete is large scale commercial development. Anything that touches downtown is going up in value.

There are entire districts such as the Skyway Marina District getting redesigned to fit a growing population. This commercial development is increasing the desirability to live in this area which in turn raises the values of the homes nearby.

Here’s an article that goes into more detail on how external factors are causing appreciation in St. Pete neighborhoods.

If you need an accurate estimate on your home, we’d be happy to analyze it and give you our professional opinion. Feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be in touch. You can also email us at  to get the process started!

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