Many home buyers and sellers like to use Zillow in order to set a price for the home they are buying or selling. I have seen more and more buyers and sellers trying to heavily rely on Zillow to determine market value.
Now; this is not to speak poorly of Zillow. I do think they have gotten better and better at pulling up a homes value; but Zillow can no more tell you the real value of your home than anyone can until they come in and SEE IT.
Any computer program/analytics pulls information from sources like tax records. Well tax records often don’t know if a home was expanded; a basement or attic finished; nor do they know if the kitchen is a 1960′s classic or a 2009 renovation.
While this valuation is helpful to get a “ball-park”; it won’t help if the recently sold homes were not VERY similar to yours. If you had a bunch of beat-up foreclosures that sold in your neighborhood or you have the smallest or biggest or newest or oldest home; the variances will be WAY off.
It can be difficult for Realtors to give market price opinions to buyers and sellers; when they think that home valuation programs are fully accurate. What Zillow does do is give you great data of the neighborhood sales; and will show trends in prices going up or down. Just remember it is only as good as the data available to them. If the data is wrong (a tax record which says the home is 1200 sq feet when it’s really 2000); there is no way for Zillow to be accurate.