Zillow: Everything Buyers and Sellers Need to Know

Are listings on Zillow accurate? This is probably one of the most common questions our agents are asked at Woodleaf Realty. Everyone is curious. Is my home worth what Zillow says it’s worth? Or, why is this house listed for more than the Zillow Zestimate? These are all fair questions. Let’s start out with a few facts:

Zillow IS:

  • A website that collects housing data from various sources
  • An online index where homeowners, as well as others, can input unverified data about a specific home
  • A website that sells advertising to real estate professionals
  • A website that makes calculations of home values called Zestimates based on unknown information.  Zestimates have not been calculated or reviewed by a licensed real estate agent.

Zillow IS NOT:

  • A local real estate website
  • Operated by real estate agents

We like Zillow. We think it’s a great website for prospective buyers to browse current and recently sold properties in Colorado Springs. It’s also an excellent website to easily access a home’s history—when it was last sold, for how much, how many owners the house has had, etc. Most important though, Zillow is a website to get ideas.

Zillow is not a real estate website.

While there are many listings on Zillow that come from real estate agents (fed from the MLS), not all active listings make it to Zillow. Zillow collects data from real-time realty listings to update its own—but there is usually a delay. The site also takes suggestions and input from everyday users who have created a free login.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid Zillow. It’s an excellent site to casually browse for homes, but it shouldn’t be the primary place you are looking. Zillow is a nation-wide website, and it can’t accurately reflect the hottest housing markets or explain why prices are higher in specific neighborhoods. You may see a home on Zillow and believe you can afford something similar, only to learn the Zestimate is 50-100K off.

Only a real estate agent who is working on the ground and knows the Colorado Springs housing market will be able to convey accurate market data. 

That’s why it’s important to begin your search with an agent. He or she will be able to show you homes you can afford, as well as comparable prices in the area.

And this goes for selling your home as well. Don’t rely on Zillow to tell you how much you earn from your home. Call an experienced agent. This will save you time and potential disappointment.

Do you still have questions about Zillow and how to use it to benefit your Colorado Springs house hunt? We’re happy to talk! Give our agents a call today for more information.