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Are Sites Like Zillow Reliable When Estimating Your Home's Value?

In this day and age, it's not surprising to learn that we now have websites capable of estimating your home's value like Zillow. On the surface, it may sound like a great resource for determining home prices, but in reality, can a computer database hope to compare to the knowledge, experience and professional training of real estate agents?

About Zillow

Zillow is a company that provides free real estate valuation services for residential homes and rentals. The company is located in Seattle and was founded by two Microsoft executives; Lloyd Frink and Rich Barton in 2006. Today, Zillow operates and updates a database featuring 110 million houses in the U.S.

This data is intended to be helpful to consumers looking for information about home selling, buying, financing and renting. One of the main purposes of their business is to provide estimates of the market value of homes using Zestimates.


A Zestimate can be used as a tool for both sellers and buyers trying to determine the value of a home. The company claims, these estimates are a good base for determining the value. Unfortunately, many folks using the website fail to remember or understand that this is truly just a starting point and not necessarily the real market value.

According to the site, Zestimates are calculated from user-submitted data and public sources. Data collected may include:

  • Previous selling prices of the house
  • Selling prices of nearby homes
  • Some market...
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