The internet has improved our lives and made commerce more efficient. We can hail a cab, buy groceries, even sell a car for the best price without even leaving the sofa.

I can argue that the internet has helped consumers in the world of Real Estate perhaps more than any other industry. My buyers looking at homes in Westchester County have access to listings and market data that previously only brokers had access to. This has leveled the playing field and given birth to the idea of letting buyers earn in a share of the broker’s commission when they receive a Broker Commission Rebate.

But the internet has also had side effects. There has been a rise in cyber crime and fraud, jobs have been lost due to the elimination of inefficiencies and small businesses find it harder to compete. In Real Estate, we’ve only had one pesky annoyance: The “Zestimate”.

The “Zestimate” is a value placed on properties by Zillow. Nobody can tell you exactly how the ‘Zestimate” is calculated. I can say this, It certainly takes into account location, size and age, but beyond that, it’s a mystery.

I don’t think a week has gone by where I haven’t heard a variation of:

  1. The Zestimate on my home is too low. Do you know how to get Zillow to change it. 
  2. The Zestimate is “xx”, I want to sell for that price.

So how do I know the Zestimate is basically worthless? Because this what Zillow’s algorithm CANNOT calculate:

  1. The condition of your property 
  2. The condition of recent comps
  3. Any special features you might have or recent comps may have had
  4. The proximity to items that could sharply increase value (undevelopable land) or sharply decrease value (power lines or highways)
  5. Reliable tax data (never trust assessments you see in Zillow)

Without those 5 things, Zillow cannot possibly calculate an accurate estimate of your properties worth.

So don’t get too giddy when Zillow tells you your house has appreciated 40 percent or too depressed when it tells you the opposite. If you want to know your true property value in Westchester County, give NestEdge a call at 914-502-4974. We’ll happily prepare a value estimate for you.