First, let me say that I am a fan of getting relevant, accurate information in the hands of real estate buyers and sellers. So at first, I was highly intrigued by the idea of Zillow. I wasn't sure how a website was going to be able to assign values between different neighborhoods, consider upgrades and condition, etc. but I had an open mind.
I did some due diligence and quickly became very disappointed, and in fact, alarmed at what I saw. I found discrepancies in values of 10-20% off, both high and low. I've checked back every few months and while it may have improved SLIGHTLY, the Zestimates are still way off on most of the addresses that I check.
And I'm not the only one that feels this way. A group called the National Community Reinvestment Coalition has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. They claim that Zillow is intentionally misleading the public about the value of their homes and the accuracy of the Zestimates. They even play the race card by stating that they are seeing more overvaluations of homes in white neighborhoods and undervaluations of homes in minority neighborhoods.
My advice to you is to use Zillow if you wish, but take the info with a grain of salt. From what I could see, their sold info is fairly accurate. But their Zestimates of value tend to be way off in either direction.
If you have questions on this or any other real estate topic, call me at (925) 240-MOVE (6683). To search the MLS for free and view virtual tours of homes for sale, go to: www.SharpHomesOnline.com. Sharp Realty