Is Zillow the best source??

I heard on the radio the other day that Zillow is one of the worst sites to use? But they never said which was the best. What say ye all?

First I would warn you NOT to rely on free comps when making financing decisions.

Zillow isn’t as bad as it used to be, but it’s still a “toy.” It’s often 10% above retail and doesn’t include actual closed comps. is for sucker punching ignorant residential sellers (I mean buyers). :help

Meantime, for preliminary guesstimates, I’ll use If I’m suspicious about the numbers, I’ll add Zillow’s in for for giggles.

If the numbers look like they’re in a range that money can be made, I then check with my title company for actual, real-time, closed comps.

As an aside, the only good comps are closed sales within the last 90 days, that fall within 10% either way of the subject property’s lot size and living space. If you’re not finding sales, that’s probably an indication that you should reconsider the deal. You really want to see at least 3 sales comps to keep from gambling on a deal. Just saying.

So the radio was right. Thanks for the insight.

I think Zillow has a mass of faulty information on it…but there are also some gold nuggets. I found the foreclosure I bought on Zillow, no information, price, address, nothing, just a general area and that it was a foreclosure. Drove around, found the foreclosure, the information posted in the window was a dead phone number, and it took some serious hunting to snag up my house! Thankfully, I had a great real estate agent who pounced on the phone for me and helped get it. So Zillow may have information on it that you may not be able to find elsewhere. And it may be wrong, it may be right. I guess just like pretty much anything else on the internet.

If you want accurate comps then use an agent. Zillow is not completely accurate, I find their zestimates to be high. They seem to have any transfer of title even ones that are not actual sales. For instance, I am on my 4th flip in one neighborhood where values are 80-90K and there are 2 sold comps on zillow for 115K and 128K. Neither are real sales however and they skew the zestimates upward.

I do however use zillow when I evaluate deals. You can get a ballpark of how much properties are worth in the neighborhood and you can also find out if the area is distressed with tons of for sale properties and few solds. It’s free, take it for what it’s worth.

to get rough numbers I use, it give me its estimate and the zillow number,it will surprise you know far apart they are at times.

this gives me a ballpark to see if its worth looking any farther into a deal (or worth driving to the property)

I use eppraisal,cyberhomes,realquest,actual BPO’s done by someone I have done business with for years,comp sales as close as humanly possible to the home,and many other methods…