With Millions of Listings, Zillow Is the Near-Perfect Home Search Tool—But Will You Find Your Forever Home? (2023)

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Shopping for a new home used to be a process dependent almost entirely on finding a good real estate agent or scanning the real estate ads in the Sunday paper. Renters had it even worse: Many real estate agents didn’t handle rentals, so relying on neighborhood-based newsprint magazines and classifieds requiring phone calls and messages just to get a peek inside was the norm. Shopping for a place to live got a little easier once the internet allowed shoppers to browse the listings at different real estate agents’ websites (slowly and frustratingly over a dial-up connection) and some rental-only websites, and the process really broke open when the closely guarded Multiple Listing Service (MLS) became available to search. Once that happened, a number of companies saw the opportunity to build fairly comprehensive search engines incorporating MLS listings and mining data from local tax assessors to provide comps and neighborhood assessments for home shoppers to skim through while they were deciding where they might like to live. Zillow was one of those sites.

As one of the leaders of the online real estate industry, Zillow is available both online and via mobile app, and its reach into the real estate market is incomparable. The depth of the data available (and the formats in which the data can be viewed) is extensive, and there are services available through Zillow for nearly every aspect of the home buying, home renting, or home selling process. Most customers will still want to find a real estate agent to work with, but they’ll be able to provide plenty of examples of the homes they like and don’t like and identify neighborhoods they’d like to consider up front, saving time and effort and resulting in a more rewarding (and hopefully swift) process of finding (or selling) a home.

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At a Glance

With Millions of Listings, Zillow Is the Near-Perfect Home Search Tool—But Will You Find Your Forever Home? (2)

Photo: zillow.com

Our Verdict: While there are some limitations to the data Zillow can provide, it is an outstanding start-to-finish service for home buyers, home sellers, and renters—and a great tool for those who are just browsing, too. There’s a reason it’s one of the go-to real estate directories.

SPECS

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  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Cost: Free to browse
  • Search parameters: Price, beds, baths, square footage, home type, amenities, view
  • Site tools: Calculators, Zestimate, property management
  • Customer service: Phone and email

PROS

  • High site traffic and millions of property listings
  • Users can search for and post both sales and rental listings
  • Handy and relatively accurate home-value comparison tool
  • Information and estimated value of off-market homes available
  • Customers can search for agents, inspectors, and builders

CONS

  • Irregular updates to listings

About Zillow

Founded in 2006, Zillow began as a simple listing service. It then grew to include proprietary Zestimates (research-based estimates of home value), rentals, agent referrals, and financing options, along with extensive resources to help home buyers, sellers, and renters navigate the process of finding a place to live with ease. In 2015, Zillow acquired Trulia, one of its primary competitors, and formed the Zillow Group. It remains the largest organization in the industry, and thus has a lot to offer home shoppers—but this dominance also means the company doesn’t have to be as attentive to the needs of smaller groups of customers. So while there are many, many great features, there are also some potential drawbacks that customers can experience with larger entities.

What Zillow Offers

Zillow promises to assist home buyers, home sellers, and renters in navigating a smooth and successful process by encompassing all of their needs in one easy-to-use source. The company promises that customers will find listings and resources that aren’t available elsewhere, and it offers a free account to help customers keep all of their searches and applications in one convenient location.

Signing Up for a Zillow Account

Zillow does offer a free account, but for those who are casually browsing it’s not necessary. For serious home buyers, sellers, and renters, however, the membership provides some useful benefits and tools. For example, users with accounts can save searches rather than needing to reselect all of the options every time they want to check out what’s new, and they can give the searches titles for easy access. Users with accounts can also save their “favorite” listings, as can renters. In many cases, renters can save their favorite listings, apply online, access their lease, and make payments all through the Zillow portal. Sellers may want an account to track their home’s Zestimate prior to listing to determine an appropriate listing price, and sellers who are listing homes as For Sale by Owner will need accounts to manage their listings. The account settings allow users to manage their email and text message preferences, so there’s no avalanche of unwanted or persistent email clogging up the inbox.

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Buying a Home

Home buyers were the initial target audience of Zillow, and the set of resources and options for those at any point in the home-buying process are still central to the Zillow platform. The goal is to help educate home buyers on their options, provide them with the information they need to make good decisions, and then offer tools and guidance through the process of searching for, touring, and ultimately selecting a home.

Photo: zillow.com / Meghan Wentland

Zillow’s landing page is tailored to the user’s location. The text above the search bar invites users to “Find it. Tour it. Own it.” and requests an address, neighborhood, or ZIP code to start the search. Beneath the search bar are some options suggested as “Homes For You” with thumbnail photographs featuring homes in a range of prices. Entering a street or ZIP code brings up a satellite map of the area that users can scale with the roll of a mouse or by pinching or widening the map, with streets clearly marked. By default, homes for sale are tagged with a red balloon with the price in white text, but hovering over any building will cause a small green or gray balloon to pop up with basic information about the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and an estimated value. This is useful because the price of the houses for sale doesn’t really give a buyer a sense of the neighborhood: Many real estate agents suggest that buyers choose the worst house in the best neighborhood; this way any improvements will directly increase the value of the home, and homeowners will be less likely to improve the home to the point that the value of the home exceeds the typical value of the homes in the neighborhood. Zillow’s price estimates and basic info, which sometimes includes photos from a previous listing or just the information available from publicly accessible property records, make it easier for buyers to get a sense of the neighborhood.

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Photo: zillow.com / Meghan Wentland

Another helpful tool for home buyers is the ability to look at homes that have recently sold. A quick click on a toggle button in the header will reveal yellow balloons on homes that have recently sold. Clicking on the balloons brings up the sale price, date of sale, and any photos that are available, along with comparable listings in the area. This can help a buyer note whether a neighborhood is in flux, having recently experienced a lot of turnover, and it can help a buyer ask a real estate agent the right questions: Is the turnover likely because a lot of the homes were occupied by original owners who are aging out of independent living, so the neighborhood is changing to a younger demographic? Or has the new restaurant district nearby created great energy but also a lot of late-night music and on-street traffic, so residents are fleeing?

Photo: zillow.com / Meghan Wentland

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Clicking on a home that is for sale will bring up the home’s MLS listing, including the address, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and cost. The price and tax history are included when available, along with all of the interior and exterior features of the home. Buyers can see how long the home has been on the market and can track the price changes during the listing period, which can help a buyer understand whether the seller may be willing to negotiate the price. The listing includes links to schedule tours with local real estate agents (some even include the closest time when a tour might be available) and a button to click to contact an agent.

Photo: zillow.com / Meghan Wentland

Beyond the listings themselves, Zillow provides pages and pages of resources to help buyers understand what they’re looking for, how different features may affect the cost of the home, and strategies for making competitive offers, along with red flags to watch out for. Experienced home buyers will find many of the features on Zillow intuitive and easy to use, and first-timers will find that the platform makes a process that can be intimidating a little more accessible.

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Selling a Home

For sellers, Zillow also offers a balanced combination of resources and education. The Sellers Guide, accessible from the “Sell” link on the top bar, provides a selection of articles addressing the timing of sales, strategies for selling in a buyer’s or seller’s market, real estate agent selection tips, and help making decisions about what repairs to make before listing a home. In addition, Zillow provides a detailed guide for first-time sellers, explaining the intricacies of the home-selling process. Another page guides sellers through handling offers, the closing process, and preparing to move. Most important for many sellers is the landing page for sellers, on which Zillow lists the pros and cons of working with an agent versus the pros and cons of a For Sale by Owner sale. Options to find an agent near you, or to find a participating Zillow Premier Agent partner (agents who have registered with Zillow and may offer reduced listing fees and priority placement on Zillow) near you, are offered with search bars.

It’s worth noting that many of the tools aimed at buyers are also useful for sellers. Checking the sale prices of recently sold homes in the area and listing prices of homes currently on the market can help sellers more accurately estimate how much they can expect to reasonably ask for their homes.

Those who are selling their homes For Sale by Owner (FSBO) without the help of an agent can list their home for free on Zillow. These listings include unlimited photos, videos, and listing details, and will be posted on both the Zillow and Trulia platforms for an exceptionally large audience. When new FSBO listings are posted, shoppers whose saved searches match the listing will receive an email with the new listing, providing a targeted audience with marketing materials for the home at no cost to the seller. While selling a home without an agent can be a tricky process to navigate, Zillow’s listing service is a great option for sellers to get information about a home for sale into the hands of potential buyers.

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Photo: zillow.com / Meghan Wentland

Renting a Home

Renters are often overlooked by traditional home sale sites and real estate agencies. Renters don’t bring in big commissions for agents, and often require more work on the part of the agents. Zillow has addressed this gap in services by dedicating an entire segment of its platform to helping renters educate themselves about different types of rental units, decision-making strategies, rental agreements and leases, budgeting, and searching for a rental home. A page titled “Ready to Rent? Start Here!” presents articles on the basics of the rental process, finding the right rental, and making a rental into a unique and comfortable home. The page is neatly laid out, with articles broken into categories and organized in a clear and accessible order to guide renters through the process from start to finish.

Photo: zillow.com / Meghan Wentland

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Searching for rental listings is simple: Renters can simply input the town, address, or ZIP code where they’d like to search, and the same map that home buyers see will populate. The toggle switch on the top bar of the map that allows buyers to switch between homes for sale and homes recently sold also offers a “For Rent” option, or renters can click a link to find rental listings. Single-unit rentals are noted with a light-purple balloon with a price listed, while multiunit listings are highlighted by a darker-purple balloon noting the number of units for rent. Clicking on a listing populates an information sheet with the name of the unit, address, monthly rental costs, and features and amenities (including pet-friendliness, laundry services, bicycle storage, parking, and lease terms). Renters can request a tour directly from the listing, and they can also choose to apply for the rental unit by entering contact information, which will then be transmitted to the rental agent or management company who will then send appropriate paperwork and information.

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Once the map is populated, renters can narrow their search using buttons at the top edge of the map: The price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, home type, and available move-in dates are quick limiters, and the “More” button allows renters to sort the listings by amenities such as pools, on-site parking, air conditioning, and number of stories. Renters who prefer to keep their entire rental process in one place can choose to see only properties that accept applications via Zillow’s platform. The Renter Hub allows those with Zillow accounts to keep track of rental units they’ve contacted or applied for, and once a lease is signed, the details can be saved to the account. Some rental units accept monthly rent payments through the Zillow platform as well.

Photo: zillow.com / Meghan Wentland

Zillow Home Values: Zestimates

Zillow’s presence in the home buying, selling, and renting industry is significant because of its sheer size and dominance, but one of its greatest successes is the Zestimate. Zillow has developed a proprietary formula that draws on data from publicly available tax and assessment records, MLS listings, nearby comparables, and user-submitted data to create a valuation for a property. This is not the same as an appraisal, because while Zestimates are some of the most accurate (nationally, the median error rate is only 3.2 percent), they cannot incorporate information they don’t have. For example, a Zestimate might be primarily based on a recent home sale, but if the owner has made significant improvements in the home that did not require a permit, the tax assessor’s office won’t necessarily know the status of the interior and may undervalue it significantly as a result. However, with approximately 1.4 million homes listed with Zestimates on the website, 89.6 percent are sold at a price that falls within 10 percent of the Zestimate, and 67.2 percent have a Zestimate within 5 percent of the sale price. While the Zestimate formula isn’t known outside of Zillow, it’s consistent and allows buyers, sellers, and renters to compare one home with another on an even scale to determine which is the best value.

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Zillow Agent Finder

Another Zillow service offered to home buyers, home sellers, and renters is the Agent Finder, and there are two categories of agents that can be searched. The first category is the basic Agent Finder, which will locate registered real estate agents in the area of the selected town or ZIP code. Entering a local ZIP code will result in the photos and contact information for many agents that users will recognize from local advertising. The other category is the Zillow Premier Agent finder. Zillow Premier agents are those who have registered with Zillow and paid a fee to receive notifications of new listings and advertising on Zillow. All fees and costs incurred by the customer are determined by the agents; they do not work for Zillow, but they have chosen to partner with Zillow as a business feeder stream.

Does it help customers? Not necessarily. It won’t hurt them, but a Zillow Premier Agent membership is primarily for the benefit of the real estate agent for the purpose of earning money from additional leads and advertising.

Zillow Home Loans

Zillow’s most recent foray into expansion is the addition of home loan applications and servicing directly through the Zillow website and app. Zillow offers links to loan officers to finance home purchases and also to refinance currently held mortgages or home loans. Customers are asked where they are in the process of the home-buying process, then matched with an appropriate loan officer after they answer a series of questions about the type of loan, type of home, ZIP code, and residency. Users are also asked to estimate their planned budget and down payment. Other questions ascertain what special loan programs a customer might be eligible to invoke, such as a VA home loan.

The Zillow Home Loans page, consistent with the other landing pages throughout the site, also offers educational materials about the different types of loans available to buyers through this service, such as conventional loans, FHA loans, and VA loans, along with the basic parameters of each type and sample loan terms pages. The information provided is straightforward and clearly explained, and it simplifies a process that can otherwise be onerous and overwhelming. Articles about rate research, closings, and credit scores help buyers prepare for the process and offer tools that buyers will need along the way, and a slew of calculators (monthly payments, affordability, refinancing, and others) and rate comparisons support the idea that the company is honestly trying to help buyers get the best deal. Zillow’s own rate comparison tool helps readers see that its rates are reasonable; while they aren’t necessarily the lowest rates, having the integrity to acknowledge that several other companies’ rates were lower than Zillow’s provides its marketing strategy with a certain amount of veracity.

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Buyers can conveniently prequalify for a loan directly through the website or app.

Photo: zillow.com / Meghan Wentland

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Zillow’s App

Zillow’s app is available for Apple and Android devices. It is comprehensive and fully featured, offering opportunities to like and share listings, see a lease agreement and make payments, and manage rental units. The app is also a surprisingly clean and powerful interface; photos load quickly and completely, and details are readable even on a smaller screen. Android phones have some slight limitations, especially for sellers or landlords, in that photos can’t be uploaded on an Android phone. Otherwise, the app does just about everything the website does, only in the confines of a pocket or purse.

Zillow Offers

While most current users search Zillow to find out how much buying a home will cost, for several years “How much does Zillow charge to buy your house?” was a reasonable question. The now-defunct Zillow Offers was a popular program that suffered from some flaws that turned out to be unsustainable, but it still turns up in articles online when users are searching for Zillow programs. How does Zillow Offers work, and is selling your home to Zillow a good idea? Well, unfortunately, it doesn’t work, because it wasn’t worth it for Zillow. Zillow purchased homes from sellers who couldn’t wait for a buyer, or who wanted a quick and easy sale. Zillow would make an offer on a home, and, if accepted, buy the home, then handle any repairs or upgrades and resell it for more money. Unfortunately, Zillow cash offers were often too high, so the money made after repairs and resale wasn’t sufficient to make the investment worthwhile. Zillow Offers fees were thought to be too high in some cases.

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Is Zillow Offers a good deal? For many sellers, it was, as a quick search for “selling to Zillow reviews,” “selling your home to Zillow reviews,“ “are Zillow Offers fair,” and “is selling your house to Zillow worth it” reveals. While the 7.5 percent fee charged by Zillow as part of the deal was steeper than standard commission, the prices offered were comparable to what home sellers would expect—except the sellers didn’t have to cope with repairs and cleanup before selling. They just had to move out, making the fee seem much more reasonable. A search for “Zillow owned homes reviews,” “Zillow offers homes for sale,” and “Zillow home purchase reviews” shows that purchasers of Zillow Offers homes were satisfied with the quality of their purchases. The cost of the homes plus the cost of repairs and sales simply outstripped the amount Zillow could reasonably charge for the homes once they were ready to sell, and because the program wasn’t widely available nationwide, Zillow discontinued it in November 2021.

Other Resources

Zillow Offers may be a thing of the past, but Zillow 360 is a current program that can result in significant savings. For customers who need to sell one home and buy another, making the decision to sell, buy, and finance through Zillow results in a $1,500 closing credit, a 1.5 percent cash rebate from Zillow, and potentially other discounts on real estate commission charges. Should the customer choose to buy and finance a home through Zillow, they can claim a closing cost credit equivalent to 0.6 percent of the loan amount. To qualify, buyers must use a Zillow Premier Agent partner to purchase the home and finance through Zillow Home Loans. Zillow 360 is currently offered in limited markets, but the program continues to expand, so check to see if it’s an appropriate option when the time comes to buy or sell a home.

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Zillow Testimonials and Reviews by Customers

Customer reviews for services such as Zillow are always tricky to interpret because there are so many facets of Zillow’s platform that rely on accurate information being transmitted via MLS and other services, and on landlords and agents doing their jobs ethically and well. Zillow draws on MLS and on local property records and tax assessments to render their Zestimates and post photos and information, but it does not (and, realistically, could not) vet all of that information to ensure accuracy. Zillow notes that Zestimates are estimates based on known information and also clearly notes that self-posted rental listings and real estate agents are not subject to vetting or verification. Many of the Zillow complaints at sites such as Trustpilot focus on real estate agents who customers feel have not measured up, landlords who haven’t been fair, or the listing prices asked by sellers and merely posted by Zillow. These complaints reflect poorly on the process, but not on Zillow itself, though it does suggest a market for formal Zillow Realtor reviews. The Better Business Bureau has opted not to accredit Zillow due to the number of similar complaints about its rental listings. While Zillow does respond promptly to customer complaints at BBB, quite a few customers don’t accept the resolutions, in part because they hold Zillow responsible for inaccurate information posted in their listing that was drawn from another source. While the misinformation may not be Zillow’s fault directly, the number of complaints of this type does suggest that the company could adjust its Zestimate algorithm slightly and perhaps consider a screening process for real estate agents it recommends.

How Zillow Stacks Up to the Competition

Because Zillow’s range of services is so extensive, it’s difficult to do a real apples-to-apples comparison. Zillow’s Zestimates, in general, are more accurate than Redfin’s estimates—but Redfin uses a team of vetted, in-house real estate agents to serve its customers, while Zillow refers customers to agents who are licensed and reviewed by customers, but performs no vetting itself. This is a risk, as customer complaints about the real estate agents they found via Zillow make up a significant portion of Zillow’s negative reviews online; quite a few complaints mention the absence of Zillow real estate agent reviews or Zillow reviews for agents, noting that where Zillow includes any reviews of its agents, they’re always from customers. Many competitors, such as Apartments.com, Realtor.com, HomeSnap, and others, provide one or two components of the home search and purchase process and provide those services exceptionally well with more attention to detail and verification than Zillow does, but the enormous benefit of Zillow is that it’s all in one place, on an app or on a home computer. Customers looking for boutique or concierge service may prefer one of the smaller competitors, while Zillow is better suited to those who want the whole home-buying, home-selling, or home-renting purchase contained in one place.

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Should You Use Zillow?

Is Zillow legit? For customers who are browsing homes and dreaming of the future, Zillow is a fantastic service because of the wide range of properties featured with reasonably up-to-date information. Renters and buyers who are actively searching for a home will find that Zillow provides them a bevy of homes to tag or share with a real estate agent during the search, along with a lot of useful articles, calculators, and guides to help make the dream home a reality. A simple, robust interface supports a significant catalog of information with an easy search platform to create a strong candidate for one-stop-shopping. Users must bear in mind that the information is as up to date as possible, but not necessarily perfect, and that Zestimates aren’t precise figures and are based on the available information. With those caveats in mind, Zillow is a great choice to use to find and finance your next home and sell the current one.

We independently reviewed this service by weighing the company’s claims against first-hand experience with its professionals. However, due to factors such as franchising, human error, and more, please note that individual experiences with this company may vary.

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FAQs

How accurate is Zillow range? ›

How accurate is the Zestimate? The nationwide median error rate for the Zestimate for on-market homes is 2.4%, while the Zestimate for off-market homes has a median error rate of 7.49%. The Zestimate's accuracy depends on the availability of data in a home's area.

What is more accurate than Zillow? ›

Redfin's home value estimator is more accurate than Zillow's when it comes to pinpointing the sales price. According to Redfin, its estimates are approximately 74% accurate within 5% of the sales price for listed homes. By comparison, Zillow is only 67% accurate within 5% of the sale price for listed homes.

Why did my house disappear from Zillow? ›

There could be a lag between when a house goes on the market and when Zillow's feed pulls it in. If the agent is doing well, they may not sign up for Zillow's services or upload their listings. In some sensitive situations, such as a divorce or death in the family, the owners may not want the home publicly listed.

Which website is more accurate Zillow or realtor? ›

A Realtor estimate, or a Comparative Market Analysis, should be more accurate and more detailed than an online valuation tool like a Zestimate. There are several reasons for this. First, real estate agents who know a particular area will be intimately familiar with the comparable sales.

Does Zillow tend to be high or low? ›

The Zestimate is often less accurate than your Realtor's estimate and can be thousands of dollars off. According to Zillow's Zestimate page, “The nationwide median error rate for the Zestimate for on-market homes is 1.9%, while the Zestimate for off-market homes has a median error rate of 7.5%.

Who is the biggest competitor of Zillow? ›

For core listing services, Realtor.com is their biggest competitor. What site is better than Zillow? Zillow's real estate offerings are some of the most comprehensive, but Redfin and Realtor.com offer some comparable services, especially in terms of home valuation.

How accurate are Zillow estimates 2022? ›

It works well on listed properties because the price is already accounted for. However, they may not be accurate when it comes to off-market homes. Admittedly, a Zillow estimate doesn't take into account the recent upgrades or any structural issues.

Is Trulia or Zillow more accurate? ›

How Accurate Are Trulia Estimates? Trulia Estimates are identical to Zillow Zestimates because both websites use the same data. The only difference is that Zillow Zestimates show both on-market and off-market properties, but Trulia only shows off-market estimates.

Can you see who views your home on Zillow? ›

The Owner Dashboard is a personalized view of your home and shows you stats like how many people are viewing your listing, gives you easy access to edit your home information, and more. Check out your Owner Dashboard by entering your address here.

What is Zillow being sued for? ›

It's not what you think – it involves consumers and keystrokes. If your company maintains a website – whether offering financial products or just selling pet stairs – you now need to be familiar with state and federal wiretapping laws.

Why is Zillow so inaccurate? ›

Zestimates are only as up to date as the data behind them, meaning they may be outdated or incorrect. Zestimates may not reflect improvements, mistakes in property taxes paid, or exceptions to tax assessments.

Is Redfin or Zillow more accurate for home value? ›

Both tools are often used by buyers when shopping for a home. Redfin's median error rate is 2.28% for on-market homes, while Zillow's is 1.9%, according to the two companies as of this writing. Neither home value estimator can or should replace a professional appraisal.

Which is more up to date Zillow or realtor? ›

Realtor.com is arguably the most accurate real estate listing platform today. It is affiliated with over 580 regularly updated MLS databases across the U.S. Realtor.com also operates in more regions than Zillow and Redfin simply because it's been around for longer, that is since 1996.

Is Zillow zestimate close to appraisal? ›

Zillow's Zestimate has been found to have a nationwide error rate of 1.9 percent for on-market homes. When it comes to estimating home values for off-market housing, the error rate jumps to 6.9 percent. Overall, Zestimate accuracy is between 95% and 96%, so it's pretty accurate in most cases.

Why does Zillow underestimate home values? ›

If your home has more value-factors (bigger square footage, better condition, more amenities, etc) than the comparables that are pulled, then your Zestimate is likely to be lower than actual value.

Are houses being appraised higher? ›

Like all the other products, building materials are in short supply and cost more now. This slow down in the supply chain has created a new kind of scarcity, and it's increasing prices across the United States. This is expected to last well into 2022 or beyond, so homes are appraising higher now.

What is the Zillow scandal? ›

By spring of 2021, the market had overheated to a point where Zillow's much-lauded algorithm, the backbone of its home-flipping strategy, was struggling to make accurate pricing predictions. Believing its own inflated numbers, say analysts, the company began overpaying for homes all across the country.

Do views on Zillow mean anything? ›

The "views" and "saves" (seen next to Time on Zillow) are numbers you want to be high—but they are not cumulative for the time the house is on the market. They only show views and saves made over the previous 30 days. So don't be shocked if those numbers actually go down over time.

Is Zillow selling at a loss? ›

Zillow's Shuttered Home-Flipping Business Lost $881 Million in 2021 - WSJ.

What problems is Zillow facing? ›

While Zillow states that its core business remains strong, the failure of its Offers division was enough to produce company-wide quarterly losses totaling $330 million—a significant dip from the $40 million in profit Zillow generated in Q3 of 2020.

Has Zillow ever been sued? ›

Zillow faced another antitrust lawsuit several years ago over its Zestimate valuation tool, but a federal judge dismissed that case last year.

What is the difference between Redfin and Zillow? ›

In a nutshell, Redfin is a real estate brokerage as well as an iBuyer (instant home buyer) that purchases homes directly from sellers in select states. Zillow is an online real estate marketplace where people can browse listings and connect with agents who advertise on the site.

When appraisal comes in lower than offer? ›

If the purchase agreement contains an appraisal contingency, the buyer is protected in the case of a low appraisal. If the buyer can't get the seller to adjust the price or come up with the difference in cash, they can walk away from the sale with their earnest money deposit returned to them.

What's the prediction for house prices in 2022? ›

It said house prices will have risen 6 per cent by the end of 2022 but that they will fall 5 per cent in 2023 and a further 5 per cent in 2024 as a result of the sudden spike in mortgage rates caused by the government's fiscal plans. This would take house prices back to where they were last summer.

Why does my Zillow zestimate keep going up? ›

Zillow values homes based on an algorithm. When the algorithm changes, your estimate will likely change too. Zillow changes its algorithm frequently, with consistent small updates and occasional major updates.

Do appraisers use Zestimate? ›

Appraisers don't use Zillow or other online evaluation technology for just this reason. Most of the online engines can only give you an average of data in an area and unless there are a lot of sales of the same type of homes, their estimates can be sharply incorrect.

Which is better Zillow or Opendoor? ›

Remember: Zillow is optimized around home buyers, while Opendoor is optimized around home sellers. The bottom line: With similar conversion rates, neither company has built a better mousetrap, but Zillow's mousetrap is exponentially larger.

Is Redfin more popular than Zillow? ›

Zillow is the most popular home buying website because it's available throughout the U.S. and includes lots of details on off market properties, while the Redfin app only displays listings in select markets. However, better options exist if you're looking for a low cost realtor or want to earn a home buyer rebate.

Can you see how many views a house has on Realtor? ›

The Listings Performance Report will provide details on how many times the listings have shown up in search results, appeared in searches, how many times the listings were viewed, consumer activity, inquiries, leads received and profile views.

Why is my house not getting any showings? ›

Let's get straight to the biggest issue: In almost every case, the reason your house isn't getting showings is because it's priced too high. Again, the lack of interest has nothing to do with your home. It has to do with the price of the home compared to similar properties within your market.

What are the light red dots on Zillow? ›

RED DOT – This home is currently FOR SALE. It is “Active” on the market, which means that it is open for buyers (like you!) to put in a contract for purchase. GOLD DOT – This home is OFF THE MARKET.

Is Zillow being investigated? ›

Foti, Jr., Esq., a partner at the law firm of Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC (“KSF”), announces that KSF has commenced an investigation into Zillow Group, Inc.

Can Zillow Be Trusted? ›

Zillow strives to provide a safe online community to rental shoppers. We encourage you to be wary of sharing personal information, financial information, or payments of any kind to people you do not know. When searching for rental listings, here are some red flags to look for: Requests to wire money.

How do you know if you're being scammed on Zillow? ›

Verify the lister's identity

If the unit was listed by a real estate agent or property manager, ask which company they work for and look for their name and image on that company's website. The agent or company should have online reviews, as well.

Can Realtors manipulate Zillow? ›

Yes you can manipulate Zillow values. I make edits to a property every time I sell a property to bring the Zestimate up.

Can Zillow listings be fake? ›

If you find a fraudulent listing on Zillow, please return to the listing page and click “Report Listing” and select “Listing seems to be fraudulent or illegal.” If you believe you have been scammed, report the incident to the FTC.

Why is my house worth less than my neighbors? ›

Here are some potential reasons your home value is lower than you expect: Your house doesn't compare to others in your neighborhood. Your home is near undesirable landmarks. You overimproved your house.

Should I claim my home on Zillow? ›

Why should I claim my home? When you claim your home, you get access your home's information on Zillow. When you claim, you activate your Owner Dashboard, which has tools for tracking your home value, pricing your home for sale, figuring out what time of year to sell and more.

How accurate are Zillow projections? ›

The nationwide median error rate for the Zestimate for on-market homes is 2.4%, while the Zestimate for off-market homes has a median error rate of 7.49%. The Zestimate's accuracy depends on the availability of data in a home's area.

Why is my appraisal so much lower than Zillow? ›

Bidding wars. In competitive housing markets where there are multiple bids on a home, buyer demand can push the price beyond what an appraiser determines it's worth. Appraisers work off historical data and their appraisal must be based on recent sales of comparable homes in your area.

Why do some homes on Zillow have no zestimate? ›

Non-disclosure state — Your home is in a “non-disclosure” state (Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming) where transactions are not publicly reported and therefore, we do not have enough data to create a Zestimate.

Can realtors hide zestimate? ›

'” Zillow's estimate of a residential property's “fair market value” which the lawsuit states they know “to be inaccurate,” have allowed “only select brokers to conceal the display of Zestimates on their listings to the exclusion of the general public.”

Are Zillow maps accurate? ›

Accuracy of Zestimates

According to Zillow's website, Zestimate's nationwide median error rate for active listings is 3.2%. 3 For off-market homes, it's now 6.9%.

Is Zillow higher or lower than appraisal? ›

The Zestimate is not an appraisal and it should be used as a starting point. We encourage buyers, sellers and homeowners to supplement the Zestimate with other research such as visiting the home, getting a professional appraisal of the home, or requesting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent.”

How accurate is Zillow in rural areas? ›

Properties located in more rural areas or areas with a low turnover rate will naturally have less data for the Zestimate algorithm to pull from and can result in inaccurate results.

Can you see who looks at your Zillow? ›

The Owner Dashboard is a personalized view of your home and shows you stats like how many people are viewing your listing, gives you easy access to edit your home information, and more. Check out your Owner Dashboard by entering your address here.

Are there fake listings on Zillow? ›

If you find a fraudulent listing on Zillow, please return to the listing page and click “Report Listing” and select “Listing seems to be fraudulent or illegal.” If you believe you have been scammed, report the incident to the FTC.

Do people use Redfin or Zillow? ›

Zillow is the most popular home buying website because it's available throughout the U.S. and includes lots of details on off market properties, while the Redfin app only displays listings in select markets. However, better options exist if you're looking for a low cost realtor or want to earn a home buyer rebate.

Is Zillow getting rid of zestimate? ›

We do not delete Zestimates. However, for some homes we may not have enough data to provide a home valuation that meets our standards for accuracy.

Is low appraisal worse for buyer or seller? ›

A low appraisal could be very good for you as the home buyer — if the seller decides to lower the price to match the appraisal. However, you're taking a risk when the appraisal doesn't support the asking price. It could mean that the house is actually a lemon.

Do most homes appraise for selling price? ›

Most appraisals come in at the right price. According to Fannie Mae, in general, appraisals come in below contract only about 8% of the time. That average was skewed in May 2021, when about 20% of home appraisals came in lower than the sales price – perhaps as a result of the pandemic.

Is Zillow overpriced? ›

The tool has an accuracy of about 80% in all areas. This is because there are no specific variances to throw it off. However, in some home value estimate cases (especially in older neighborhoods), the Zillow estimate won't be close at all.

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