Why you can't trust Zillow with your real estate needs

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Today we're going to talk about the limitations of the online home search site Zillow. The following reasons are why you are better off hiring an agent than using a computer for your real estate needs:

  • Only utilizes past information: Zillow often uses outdated data to provide estimations of home values. It plugs taxes records, square footage, zip codes, and what properties have sold for into an algorithm that gives a "Zestimate." The problem is all the information that isn't utilized - an agent has the ability to look at current inventory levels, absorption rates, and other metrics that are si-highlight--primary for determining home value. Additionally, agents have the ability to observe current trends and formulate a general idea of what the future may hold.
  • Doesn't give a personalized estimate: There are many other things the algorithm isn't capable of accounting for. If your house has great views or numerous expensive upgrades, there is no way for Zillow to work that into its calculation. It doesn't make sense that your updated house should have a similar estimate as your neighbor's, who haven't put any money into their home.
  • Inaccurate listing inventory: We've had many clients who were super excited about listings they found on Zillow - but, after they contact us and ask to see them, are disappointed to find that those homes sold months ago. This can be incredibly frustrating and can make the home search process a sour experience. The reason is that Zillow doesn't get a direct feed from the MLS, the site that Realtors use. It scrapes information off the internet and populates the website with it; as homes enter or leave the market, Zillow doesn't always keep up. In fact, it's been estimated that up to 35% of its listings are inaccurate!

What we're trying to get at is simple: Zillow is wrong! Whether you're looking to buy a home or see how much yours is worth, you should hire an agent. We are professionals that have an unmatched amount of experience finding and pricing homes. If you have any questions about real estate in your particular area, or would like accurate information about current San Diego market conditions, please give us a call.

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