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I hate to break the bad news, but… their ain’t no Zillow Genie…..

January 4, 2011

I hate to break the bad news, but… their ain’t no Zillow Genie…..

The Zillow GenieDear Andrea, The Zestimate on my house in New Milford, CT is much higher than what YOU said my house is worth, why is that?

I have heard this time and time again. Zillow contacted me and explained how this happens, so I have the answer straight from the “Z”horse’s mouth!

First, let me clarify something, Zillow does NOT get information from our local Multiple Listing Service in the greater New Milford, CT area. Perhaps in some areas of the country this may be happening, but not in Connecticut. So, where does Zillow get their information from?

Real estate agents. Real estate companies. Many, many other sources…. that I, as your real estate agent, have no control over.

The life of a listing… here is how it goes.

  • I get a listing in the Greater New Milford, CT area and put it on the local MLS. Although this contains the most accurate information, it does NOT make it onto Zillow.
  • Next I place the listing on my personal website and do up a Realbird internet flyer for the listing. Both of these push the listing out to many other places, Zillow included.
  • I go to Zillow and “claim my listings” making changes as needed.
  • My broker will place an ad in “The Real Estate Book” which also send the listing out to Zillow and many other places.
  • And here is where it goes out of my control. Many, many other places now have your listing that I didn’t put it on. They may have partial information, they may never update information, this is out of my control.

Time goes by, the listing sells. If I don’t go and mark the listing as “sold” on anything that I have out there, Zillow will never know it sold. If I don’t go back into Zillow and edit the listing, how is Zillow to know it sold and for what price it sold?

This skews the all the Zestimates on Zillow!

Besides, you don’t turn on your computer, go to Zillow and the magical Zillow genie appears in your home to check things out. There is no substitute for a knowledgeable real estate professional who knows the market to compare your house to all the houses on the market. Trust me on that. Zillow has no way of knowing what the interior of your house is like, what your lot is like, where your house is located in relation to the real estate market.

I do like Zillow, but the Zestimates are just that…. estimates with a Z. I hate to break it to you, there ain’t no Zillow Genie!

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