There is a lot that can be said about Zillow.com's Zestimates. First off, what is a Zestimate? Well to put it simply its Zillow's estimate of what a home is worth. They pull their information from a number of sources and then run that info through an algorithm that spits out a number (which is supposedly what your home is worth). My "beef" with Zillow is that this number is completely and utterly wrong as much as it is right (at least in the Murfreesboro real estate market). Not only that, buy sellers are actually believing the Zestimates and expecting agents to be willing to list their home at inflated prices.
So is it Zillow's fault sellers are peddling their home to the Realtor with the highest list price? No way! Zillow freely admits it's an inexact science. Here's THEIR explanation of what a Zestimate is:
More and more we're finding potential sellers interviewing Realtors to list their home, sellers who are shopping for a real estate agent to give them that magic number they can sell the house for. Here's the bad news for those sellers, the Realtor doesn't have a say in what your home is worth! An agent can tell you all day long your home is worth $189,900 to get the listing when it's really going to sell for $164,900. Yes that is less than you paid for it and yes that is $15 grand less than the Zestimate (did you really think a machine or person who has never set foot on Tennessee soil could give you a good representation of what the local market will think your home is worth?) In fact, the Zestimate is more than we're even willing to LIST the house for (likely more than it will even appraise for, and most of the time you CAN'T sell a home for more than it appraises) fully expecting that we won't see a full price offer in a Buyers market like we're currently facing. You overpaid for the house two years ago, but lucky for you so did the guy who owns the house you want (and he's taking an even bigger hit).
In my time working for John I've heard one quote more than any other. It may be John's mantra, it could be inscribed on his headstone because he undoubtedly believes it to be words any Realtor can live by, "Your home is what someone is willing to pay for it". Not what you think it's worth, not what I think it's worth, not what any Realtor, nor Zillow, Trulia, the appraiser, the bank, the tax collector, the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker.
Lucky for you...if you have the right agent to market your property (who didn't allow you to allow them to take an overpriced listing) and 5 buyers willing to "pay for it" at the same time. You'll probably still come out alright, if not better, than if you'd listed it John R. Realtor who'd still have it $10 grand overpriced 3 months from now with ZERO offers. (F.Y.I. that's another 3 payments you have to make on it and the market may be worse than it was...you missed the SUMMER BUYERS BOOM). You missed every buyer that was searching online under $175,000 (probably their agents too) which is a BIG chunk of the buyer pool.
What's the point to all of this you say? When choosing YOUR REALTOR you have to look past the numbers they are spitting out. Any man, woman, child, or machine can spit out an estimate of what your home is worth but what it all comes down to is who knows about your home and what it's worth to THEM.
Now for the shameless plug. Want a Murfreesboro locals educated opinion of what your home is worth? Try http://www.MidTNHouseValues.com