However, with approximately 1.4 million homes listed with Zestimates on the website, 89.6 percent are sold at a price that falls within 10 percent of the Zestimate, and 67.2 percent have a Zestimate within 5 percent of the sale price. While the Zestimate formula isn’t known outside of Zillow, it’s consistent and allows buyers, sellers, and renters to compare one home with another on an even scale to determine which is the best value. It then grew to include proprietary Zestimates (research-based estimates of home value), rentals, agent referrals, and financing options, along with extensive resources to help home buyers, sellers, and renters navigate the process of finding a place to live with ease. In 2015, Zillow acquired Trulia, one of its primary competitors, and formed the Zillow Group.

  1. Customers are asked where they are in the process of the home-buying process, then matched with an appropriate loan officer after they answer a series of questions about the type of loan, type of home, ZIP code, and residency.
  2. Zillow 360 is currently offered in limited markets, but the program continues to expand, so check to see if it’s an appropriate option when the time comes to buy or sell a home.
  3. Should the customer choose to buy and finance a home through Zillow, they can claim a closing cost credit equivalent to 0.6 percent of the loan amount.
  4. Zillow’s presence in the home buying, selling, and renting industry is significant because of its sheer size and dominance, but one of its greatest successes is the Zestimate.

A simple, robust interface supports a significant catalog of information with an easy search platform to create a strong candidate for one-stop-shopping. Users must bear in mind that the information is as up to date as possible, but not necessarily perfect, and that Zestimates aren’t precise figures zillios and are based on the available information. With those caveats in mind, Zillow is a great choice to use to find and finance your next home and sell the current one. Those who are selling their homes For Sale by Owner (FSBO) without the help of an agent can list their home for free on Zillow.

Zillow Home Values: Zestimates

The company promises that customers will find listings and resources that aren’t available elsewhere, and it offers a free account to help customers keep all of their searches and applications in one convenient location. The information provided is straightforward and clearly explained, and it simplifies a process that can otherwise be onerous and overwhelming. Zillow’s own rate comparison tool helps readers see that its rates are reasonable; while they aren’t necessarily the lowest rates, having the integrity to acknowledge that several other companies’ rates were lower than Zillow’s provides its marketing strategy with a certain amount of veracity.

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In many cases, renters can save their favorite listings, apply online, access their lease, and make payments all through the Zillow portal. Sellers may want an account to track their home’s Zestimate prior to listing to determine an appropriate listing price, and sellers who are listing homes as For Sale by Owner will need accounts to manage their listings. The account settings allow users to manage their email and text message preferences, so there’s no avalanche of unwanted or persistent email clogging up the inbox. As one of the leaders of the online real estate industry, Zillow is available both online and via mobile app, and its reach into the real estate market is incomparable. The depth of the data available (and the formats in which the data can be viewed) is extensive, and there are services available through Zillow for nearly every aspect of the home buying, home renting, or home selling process.

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Zillow’s presence in the home buying, selling, and renting industry is significant because of its sheer size and dominance, but one of its greatest successes is the Zestimate. Zillow has developed a proprietary formula that draws on data from publicly available tax and assessment records, MLS listings, nearby comparables, and user-submitted data to create a valuation for a property. This is not the same as an appraisal, because while Zestimates are some of the most accurate (nationally, the median error rate is only 3.2 percent), they cannot incorporate information they don’t have. For example, a Zestimate might be primarily based on a recent home sale, but if the owner has made significant improvements in the home that did not require a permit, the tax assessor’s office won’t necessarily know the status of the interior and may undervalue it significantly as a result.

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The cost of the homes plus the cost of repairs and sales simply outstripped the amount Zillow could reasonably charge for the homes once they were ready to sell, and because the program wasn’t widely available nationwide, Zillow discontinued it in November 2021. While most current users search Zillow to find out how much buying a home will cost, for several years “How much does Zillow charge to buy your house? The now-defunct Zillow Offers was a popular program that suffered from some flaws that turned out to be unsustainable, but it still turns up in articles online when users are searching for Zillow programs. Zillow purchased homes from sellers who couldn’t wait for a buyer, or who wanted a quick and easy sale.

Beyond the listings themselves, Zillow provides pages and pages of resources to help buyers understand what they’re looking for, how different features may affect the cost of the home, and strategies for making competitive offers, along with red flags to watch out for. Experienced home buyers will find many of the features on Zillow intuitive and easy to use, and first-timers will find that the platform makes a process that can be intimidating a little more accessible. It is comprehensive and fully featured, offering opportunities to like and share listings, see a lease agreement and make payments, and manage rental units.

The Better Business Bureau has opted not to accredit Zillow due to the number of similar complaints about its rental listings. While Zillow does respond promptly to customer complaints at BBB, quite a few customers don’t accept the resolutions, in part because they hold Zillow responsible for inaccurate information posted in their listing that was drawn from another source. While the misinformation may not be Zillow’s fault directly, the number of complaints of this type does suggest that the company could adjust its Zestimate algorithm slightly and perhaps consider a screening process for real estate agents it recommends. Another Zillow service offered to home buyers, home sellers, and renters is the Agent Finder, and there are two categories of agents that can be searched. The first category is the basic Agent Finder, which will locate registered real estate agents in the area of the selected town or ZIP code. Entering a local ZIP code will result in the photos and contact information for many agents that users will recognize from local advertising.

Clicking on a home that is for sale will bring up the home’s MLS listing, including the address, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and cost. The price and tax history are included when available, along with all of the interior and exterior features of the home. Buyers can see how long the home has been on the market and can track the price changes during the listing period, which can help a buyer understand whether the seller may be willing to negotiate the price. The listing includes links to schedule tours with local real estate agents (some even include the closest time when a tour might be available) and a button to click to contact an agent. Zillow promises to assist home buyers, home sellers, and renters in navigating a smooth and successful process by encompassing all of their needs in one easy-to-use source.

Customer reviews for services such as Zillow are always tricky to interpret because there are so many facets of Zillow’s platform that rely on accurate information being transmitted via MLS and other services, and on landlords and agents doing their jobs ethically and well. Zillow draws on MLS and on local property records and tax assessments to render their Zestimates and post photos and information, but it does not (and, realistically, could not) vet all of that information to ensure accuracy. Zillow notes that Zestimates are estimates based on known information and also clearly notes that self-posted rental listings and real estate agents are not subject to vetting or verification. Many of the Zillow complaints at sites such as Trustpilot focus on real estate agents who customers feel have not measured up, landlords who haven’t been fair, or the listing prices asked by sellers and merely posted by Zillow. These complaints reflect poorly on the process, but not on Zillow itself, though it does suggest a market for formal Zillow Realtor reviews.

Home buyers were the initial target audience of Zillow, and the set of resources and options for those at any point in the home-buying process are still central to the Zillow platform. The goal is to help educate home buyers on their options, provide them with the information they need to make good decisions, and then offer tools and guidance through the process of searching for, touring, and ultimately selecting a home. It won’t hurt them, but a Zillow Premier Agent membership is primarily for the benefit of the real estate agent for the purpose of earning money from additional leads and advertising. See more of the best rental listing sites, best home value estimator sites, best real estate websites, and the best foreclosure sites. Zillios token has a key role in growing platform use bringing together all key players in one global real estate platform. We independently reviewed this service by weighing the company’s claims against first-hand experience with its professionals.

Most important for many sellers is the landing page for sellers, on which Zillow lists the pros and cons of working with an agent versus the pros and cons of a For Sale by Owner sale. Options to find an agent near you, or to find a participating Zillow Premier Agent partner (agents who have registered with Zillow and may offer reduced listing fees and priority placement on Zillow) near you, are offered with search bars. Because Zillow’s range of services is so extensive, it’s difficult to do a real apples-to-apples comparison. Zillow’s Zestimates, in general, are more accurate than Redfin’s estimates—but Redfin uses a team of vetted, in-house real estate agents to serve its customers, while Zillow refers customers to agents who are licensed and reviewed by customers, but performs no vetting itself.

It remains the largest organization in the industry, and thus has a lot to offer home shoppers—but this dominance also means the company doesn’t have to be as attentive to the needs of smaller groups of customers. So while there are many, many great features, there are also some potential drawbacks that customers can experience with larger entities. Zillow Offers may be a thing of the past, but Zillow 360 is a current program that can result in significant savings. For customers who need to sell one home and buy another, making the decision to sell, buy, and finance through Zillow results in a $1,500 closing credit, a 1.5 percent cash rebate from Zillow, and potentially other discounts on real estate commission charges. Should the customer choose to buy and finance a home through Zillow, they can claim a closing cost credit equivalent to 0.6 percent of the loan amount. To qualify, buyers must use a Zillow Premier Agent partner to purchase the home and finance through Zillow Home Loans.

Zillow would make an offer on a home, and, if accepted, buy the home, then handle any repairs or upgrades and resell it for more money. Unfortunately, Zillow cash offers were often too high, so the money made after repairs and resale wasn’t sufficient to make the investment worthwhile. For customers who are browsing homes and dreaming of the future, Zillow is a fantastic service because of the wide range of properties featured with reasonably up-to-date information. Renters and buyers who are actively searching for a home will find that Zillow provides them a bevy of homes to tag or share with a real estate agent during the search, along with a lot of useful articles, calculators, and guides to help make the dream home a reality.

However, due to factors such as franchising, human error, and more, please note that individual experiences with this company may vary.