Zillow and Trulia Merged—But They Are Still Wrong

Updated November 2019 (originally posted in 2015):

The algorithms Zillow and Trulia use to value homes have improved since 2015, but the Steamboat real estate market still doesn’t have enough data points for exact estimates. There just aren’t enough sales in Steamboat for their algorithms to be accurate.

The other thing that throws off their pricing models is the differences in homes and condos in our market. It isn’t uncommon to have a $1M+ home next to a $500,000 tear down which makes pricing with algorithms difficult. If you want a professional opinion from someone who knows the Steamboat market, call or text us at (970) 846-8284 and one of our associates will explain why your home may be worth more (or less).

Original Article:

Trulia and Zillow are two consumer real estate websites where buyers and sellers can go to get a “zestimate” of their home value.  There is some good information on these sites, but I often wonder if the buyers and sellers who use these sites are aware just how often Zillow and Trulia are wrong—especially in Steamboat Springs, CO.

The two companies merged this week, so we’ll be seeing changes going forward which will hopefully include more accurate information.  In a recent interview, the CEO of Zillow said the nationwide “median error rate” was about 8%.  Here in the Steamboat Springs area, the Zillow error rate is much higher causing sellers to think their home is worth a lot more than what the market will bear and buyers to think they are overpaying.

In other markets across the country, Zillow has a median valuation error of about 20%.  In Somerset Co, MD, their valuations are off an astounding 42%.  (And that’s the median!)

These websites have some good consumer information, but be wary.  Use them as a tool to start a conversation with a knowledgeable Realtor and not the gospel for what your home is worth.  Please call us at (970) 846-8284 for real valuations.  We are happy to help.