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Jim Klinge
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701 Palomar Airport Road, Suite 300
Carlsbad, CA 92011

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Tips, Advice & Links, Zillow | 6 comments | Print Print

Zestimate Accuracy – Wack!

Did you notice that the zestimate wasn’t listed in the Real Estate Online Tools?

It is wackier than ever!

Last year, we saw the zestimate be hundreds of thousands of dollars too high on a custom home west of the I-5 in Leucadia – and once I inputted the listing on Zillow, their zestimate went higher:


They claim to always be improving their algorithms, but this new example is hard to explain.  On my latest listing in a very normal tract neighborhood in NE Carlsbad, I gave them the benefit of the doubt.  I just sold the exact same model for $810,000 in December, but maybe they are slow to update?  The zestimate of my new listing was $744,222:

But once I inputted the listing on Zillow last Friday, the zestimate zoomed to $851,243!

Does it mean that Zillow has finally jumped on the bandwagon and are supporting their Premier Agents with zestimates that come in around the list prices!!!  If their primary concern was placating their paying customers, the Premier Agents, this would be a good way to do it!

Here is today’s zestimate – back where we started, with 5s instead of 2s – how can it fluctuate up and down 14% over five days??

I guess when you look at a zestimate, you can only hope you are looking on the right day!  14% swings over 5 days? Could it be any more unpredictable?



  1. I think Zillow should do more generic online videos so their users can feel confident that Zillow isn’t just kind of sitting around on their confused butts while their service software steeps their users in frustration. I think it’s important to look like you’re doing something, if you’re something like Zillow, to keep users interested.


  2. This falls under JTR’s 2nd Commandment:

    1. Price fixes everything.
    2. A home is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.


  3. We fight that like crazy, don’t we? Realtors and consumers alike!

    If there was an all-out education blitz for 6-12 months, we could change the business and convert to the auction process instead – which is the best way to achieve top dollar for sellers, a fair market for buyers, and a solid business practice for agents.


  4. zillow once had my old home at a value of 1.1M, we sold for 2.3M – neighborhood agents laughed at us when we interviewed them for agents to list our home – they were using zillow as a source for their “reality”


  5. Punky…

    Here at our condo downtown the exact same units from floor 35 to the top floor 39 are listed as follows in Zillow and show an 800K price spread. Ridiculous.

    1.779 (ours)

    It seems the Zillow price is almost solely based on the last selling price of a particular unit then adjusted. The condos above ours have not sold in a very long time and the last one was a foreclosure auction at that.

    Translation: Zillow estimates are worthless.


  6. Sure hope Zillow estimate is not used to give people more equity line.



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