Value Questions

February 20, 2019
Real estate platform_Zillow_Redfin_home value estimation tools
Photo: Unsplash/Thomas Kvistholt

Real estate platforms Zillow and Redfin both offer home value estimation tools, but their accuracy has come under scrutiny, leading users to wonder about the actual value that these services provide.

Redfin cites independent study data to say that its service is more accurate, and says its median national error rate of for-sale homes (estimated price vs. selling price) is 1.77 percent. For homes not on the market, the median error rate jumps to 6.66 percent. Zillow recently announced its median error rate overall will soon fall below 4.0 percent or lower, from its current 4.5 percent rate. Zillow does not separate out for-sale vs. not-for-sale homes in its rate, The Washington Post reports.

Both are used by millions of home shoppers, owners, realty agents, anyone curious about what a house in their neighborhood might be worth. Both also have been criticized for estimates that are off the mark; some homeowners have actually sued Zillow over their Zestimates, although unsuccessfully. Zillow’s own chief executive, Spencer Rascoff, famously sold his Seattle home for 40 percent below its Zestimate.

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