Blog :: 2015

How Accurate are Zillow Pricing Estimates?



Zillow is the most popular online real estate information site in the country with over 72 million unique visitors in December 2014 alone. Besides displaying properties for sale, it also provides a database of information for properties that are not currently on the market. By simply entering an address you can pull up key information including lot size, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths. It also provides a Zestimate.

Zestimates are Zillow's automated property value estimates. Zestimates have become a major issue for both buyers and sellers. Consumers routinely quote Zestimates to real estate agents when it comes time to buy or sell. If a house for sale has a Zestimate of $300,000, a buyer might take issue with a sellers' list price of $400,000. The other scenario that comes up quite often is when a seller asks a listing broker why they they should market their home for $550,000 when the Zestimate states a value of $665,000.

These gaps in real value versus Zillow's Zestimates are becoming common place. Consumers more and more are taking Zestimates as gospel and if someone won't budge of their perceived value (Zestimate) it often can stop a deal in it's tracks.

The big question remains, how accurate are Zestimates. Zillow estimates that nationally Zestimates have a "median error rate" of about 8%. On a $500,000 house that is $40,000 disparity. The biggest issue with Zestimates is that in localized markets the median error rate can be far higher.  For example in Manhattan the error rate is 20%, in rural counties in California the error rate is a s high as 26%. In the Lakes Region of New hampshire I have personally witnessed some homes being off by as much as 30%. On a lakefront home with a value of $1,000,000 that equates to a difference of $300,000. But Zestimates aren't always on the low end of the value range. In carlsbad California, Zestimates came in below the selling price 70% of the time according to Solutions Real Estate.

So what is the public to do with their own Zestimate? Treat them as a starting point when discussing pricing. When it comes time to find the actual real value rely on the real estate professionals in your home market or get an experienced appraiser.

To see homes available on Lake Winnipesaukee please click here.

credit: Washington Post 


  1. Adrian Kelly on

    Work with Ruth Neidhardt? I don't think so. She's a bitter thorn in the side of the entire real estate community around the lakes.

    Sugar Sand Beach and Sunsets on Lake Winnipesaukee

    Lake Winnipesaukee Home For Sale in Tuftonboro


    For those who have been searching for a home with true quality, southwest exposure and a large sugar sand beach on Lake Winnipesaukee, then look no further. This reproduction Sturbridge inspired Cape combines old world charm with modern conveniences. Built in 2006 on a private 1.3 acres, the home was sited to blend into the landscape but still enjoy the 152 feet of waterfront. The interior of the home features 3 levels of living easily accessed by an elevator. The main floor is highlighted by a chef's kitchen with custom Crown Point cabinetry, gas cook top, double wall ovens and Vermont soapstone counters. You also have a first floor master suite with a jetted tub and walk in shower. A brick fireplace and bee hive oven are the centerpiece of the main living room. From the dining room room you have French doors that open to a large three season porch with picturesque views of Winnipesaukee and majestic sunsets. Wide plank floors, wrought iron fixtures, vintage lighting add to the authenticity of the design. The home also features radiant heat, whole house audio, home entertainment room and bar.

    18 Mason Road is located only 15 minutes to downtown Wolfeboro, 35 minutes to Gunstock Mountain and less than 2 hours from Boston. From the waterfront you can boat to all 8 bordering towns on Lake Winnipesaukee with ease.To reproduce this home at this price point would be impossible even if you could find a lot with a beach this size. Offered at $1,550,000

    Please contact Ruth Neidhardt at 603-455-0176 or Brian Neidhardt at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty to schedule a private showing. To see additional Lake Winnipesaukee homes for sale click here .

    18 Mason Road, Tuftonboro listing details  

    Winnipesaukee Home with Beach













    18 Mason Road, Tuftonboro NH


    1. Adrian Kelly on

      Work with Ruth Neidhardt? I don't think so. She's a bitter thorn in the side of the entire real estate community around the lakes.