Zillow's Zestimates: Zounds!

Zillow is a popular online real estate tool. But how accurate are its “Zestimates”? The internet has made life easier for homebuyers, sellers and realtors.

And much harder.

Sure, it’s fun to sit home with a laptop, searching hundreds of other homes with the click of a mouse. Anyone today can download maps, enlarge aerial photos, and zoom in to examine moldings, countertops and bathroom tiles. But that same online connection draws folks to sites like Zillow. While you enjoy checking prices on zillions of homes -- even those not on the market -- there’s a downside too. You get what you pay for. And Zillow is free.

A recent Washington Post story noted that in the D.C. area, “Zestimates” are accurate within 5 percent of the actual value of a home just half the time. In San Francisco, it’s even worse: Only 25% of Zestimates reach that 5 percent accuracy level.


A leading Washington realtor said: “As real estate agents, if we got within 5 percent of the value of a home that infrequently we’d be out of business. So if consumers want to base their valuation of a home purchase or sale on what they find on the Internet, we suggest they take out a coin and flip it. Heads — that value is within 5 percent (high or low) or what the home is actually worth. Tails — that value could be 10 percent, 20 percent or more off target.”

In Fairfield County, being off by just 5 percent can mean a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars. So while it’s easy to scour Zillow for property values, it can be misleading. It can also cause undue expectations -- or stress.

At KMS Partners, we’re happy to provide a detailed estimate of your home’s value. We look carefully at everything: construction, condition, neighborhood, recent sales. We examine curb appeal, renovations, even the condition of your mudroom. We research your neighborhood, town, and recent economic trends.

We help you determine the realistic price for a home you’d like to buy -- or list. We tell you exactly how we came up with our “KMS-timate,” and answer all your questions.

You can reach a KMS Partner any time. We’re on our cell phones. We respond to email. We are a full-time, full service real estate agency.

Not just a website.

To learn more about KMS Partners’ real estate estimates -- and our many other services -- Contact us today!