Zillow Takes Data Inaccuracy To New Level

You’ve decided it’s time to buy or sell a home. If you are like most people, you begin researching online, even if you already have a favorite REALTOR. And, if you are like most people, you’d like accurate and truthful answers to your real estate questions.

The accuracy of online data has been a fairly hot topic in the real estate industry for a long time. Quite often we find Zillow’s “Zestimates” and the like to be at the center of that data conversation. While the Big Z freely admits their home valuation model is not meant to be a true value of a home, many people believe them to be an accurate estimate of value. In addition, when people see homes for sale on the site, they assume the homes haven’t been sold months ago.

All of the homes shown on public sites that are not really available, and all of the problems with “appraisals” that can be tens of thousands of dollars off, just go to show that algorithms can be an inexact science. OK, fine. They are working on getting better, we’re told.

Money For Nothin’ And Clicks For Free

Most of the public web sites get real estate data from the real estate industry for free. After that, they sell it back to the same real estate industry that gave them the data.  More homes, for sale or not, on their site mean more clicks, attracting more agents to advertise. More ads means more dollars for shareholders. So, what’s the problem with having a bunch of extra homes on the site? It’s all good, right? $ure it is.

Zillow Adds Agent Transaction Data

Now Zillow has added transaction histories to agent profiles on their website. You know, it’s a transparency thing, they just want to help you, the consumer. Just one problem. THEY DON’T HAVE THE CORRECT DATA.

We can’t get buy-side transactions from public records, and Agent Doe’s feed doesn’t send buyer agent info. But, agents can manually enter buy-side transactions into their profile in a few simple steps. – Zillow response on Inman News

You think Zestimates are off? You think it’s deceptive or wrong that a large number of homes they display as being for sale are not actually for sale? Heck, those numbers are nothing compared to the inaccurate sales data they are displaying next to most real estate agent profiles.

I’ve been selling homes since 1992. According to Zillow, I have “22 all time sales.”  Accurate numbers? Not even close. See this photo? It is a screen shot of homes I have sold in the southeast valley.

22 sales Nick Bastian

Heck, if you want to know information about my sales data, just ask. Over the past 21+ years, I’ve helped hundreds and hundreds of people buy and sell homes. Is that the biggest reason why I feel like someone should hire me? NO. My main selling proposition is that I’m a straight shooter, I look out for your best interest and I know the business inside and out.

OK, maybe this is just another way for Zillow to get clicks and to get agents to provide them more free data so they can continue to sell “leads” back to them. Fine. But, if they can’t provide accurate data, is it helpful?

I don’t pay a lot of attention to the large sites like Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow and the like. But, because they have some relevance to a small portion of our clients, I feel a need to follow what they do. If your are here on my web site, I hope you will do more extensive research and allow us to help with your real estate needs. As always, our promise is to help you through the entire buying or selling process effectively and efficiently.

Look, some agents love the Zillows and Trulias of the world and some really don’t care for them very much. Around here, our only goal is to provide you with accurate, honest and up to date information while we work together to achieve your goals. Period.

The video below will show you a little bit about our web site and how to easily use it. Please feel free to call 602-803-6425 to discuss how we can help with all of your real estate needs.

About Nick Bastian

Nick Bastian is a 24 year veteran of the real estate industry and enjoys his career very much. Nick is always available to "talk shop" with anyone that may have real estate related questions. "Just Call Nick" at 602-803-NICK (6425) - he's glad to help.
Nick can also be found over on the Phoenix Real Estate Guy blog and on Twitter or out and about in the community making friends and having some fun.

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