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Zestimates Aren't as Accurate as You Might Think


It's been several years since I did a Zestimate analysis.  I am working with a buyer who seems to put a lot of trust in Zestimates in determining what price to offer on a home.  Of course, buyers seem to  always trust a Zestimate instead of any data you put in front of them to the contrary.

So I thought I would see for myself if Zestimates hav gotten any better in the area that I'm working with my buyer.

I've heard experts say that a home is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay.  Therefore, I took all of the sales over the past 30 days in the Dunwoody/Chamblee area and compared the actual sales price to the current Zestimate for each property.

There were a total of 74 sales, single family homes.  I took out the seller paid costs and only compared the net sales price to the Zestimate.

Zestimates differed from the net sales price by -32% to +45%.

I would say that to have a Zestimate be worth anything, it would have to be within +/-5% most of the time.  This would give a range for  a $400,000 home to have a Zestimate between $380,000 to $420,000.

Of the 74 sales, only 19 (25%) fell within this +/-5% price range.

That means that 75% of the Zestimates are more than 5% off from what the actual sales price was.

To me, that is not good enough to be of use as a serious valuation tool.  

Even the CEO of Zillow says that the median error for Zestimates across the country is  8%.  That means that in some places it's much more.

On the Zillow site if you look hard enough you can find the page where they state their accuracy.  For Atlanta, 61.5 % of homes are within 10% .  Put another way, 38.5% are off by more than 10%.  That means that for a $400,000 , about 40% of the time the Zestimate is going to be above $440,00 or below $360,000. 

Here's my analysis with 74 recent sales in the Chamblee/Dunwoody area.

Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities



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All information about homes from the Atlanta MLS home search engine is input by thousands of individual real estate agents throughout Atlanta and is made available through a service called ListingBook. We provide access to this data for the convenience of our clients.  We have no control over this database.  All information on this web site is copyrighted and intellectual property of It is deemed to be current and accurate, but is not warranted. 2002. Tim is a licensed Realtor with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage.

Tim Maitski is a member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors