How Accurate Are Zillow Estimates?

How much is my home worth? Before you move, it’s the first question you have to ask. There are numerous real estate value estimators online, but Zillow’s is by far the most popular. While surfing homes on, home values are assessed to the dollar. This can be very misleading. If you are committed to starting online, start by collecting data from numerous sites like Zillow,, and Trulia to see the differences in estimates.


Professionals agree that online home estimators have advanced in the last 5 years and are useful as a ballpark pricing tool. They are not comparable to value estimates made by professional real estate agents. In addition to public data on the sale of property in that area, “the Zestimate also takes into account actual property taxes paid, exceptions to tax assessments, and other publicly available property tax data. Tax assessor’s property values can be inaccurate. The tax assessor’s database might have a mistake related to a property’s basic information. This causes the assessed value to be too high or too low.” For instance, a finished basement or exterior improvement.

Market Algorithm

One of the major issues we see within Dunwoody and Sandy Springs real estate market is the issue Zillow has with turnover. The more homes sell in a particular area in a period of time, the more data Zillow has on estimated value. Families in our area tend to retain their homes and thus the cost at purchase is very different than selling.

Home Upgrades

Many homeowners choose to make upgrades on their current homes. This is generally overlooked by Zillow unless the upgrade requires a permit. Once that permit is issued and passed along to the tax assessor, it will then be a factor of the “Zestimate.” It is important to research which home improvement investments have the greatest return on investment. An experienced Realtor will be able to offer insight as to which renovations will make your home more appealing.

Get a Complete Value is a great tool for allowing potential buyers or sellers an idea of what and where they need to be looking. If you are more serious, the only way to get an accurate answer is to contact a real estate agent. Five homes built in the same year in the same area code, can be priced differently based on a number of factors. In addition to factoring in home improvements and similar home values, they can weigh in school districts, potential growth, taxes and neighborhood trends to assess the value of your unique home. When you are ready to get an estimate on your home, call Karen Cannon Realtors. Our real estate team has also been recognized as a Top 5% for Team Volume. Every agent on the KCR team has been chosen for his or her professionalism, industry knowledge, and connection to the community. This recognition reinforces the fact that we have one of the most accomplished teams in town.