• Ron Wynn

Why Did Zillow Knock Down My Value?



If you woke up this morning noticing that Zillow dropped your value by $90,000 since yesterday, you may not be the only one. But hang tight, they may bump you up next month by $120,000. Our Brentwood Realtors aren't suggesting that Zillow values are bogus or inaccurate, but you need to understand what’s going on.


The Zillow algorithm is an amazing tool to measure basic geographic sales activity in quarter mile ranges. It also is zip code conscious, and most certainly it factors in square footage and land size as yet another basic criterium for comparative analysis to determine value.


What if your lot is 8,000 sq. feet, all flat and usable, but your neighbor (which was used as a comparable) is 13,000 sq. feet on a hillside with only 5,000 flat and usable - now what happens? Zillow can’t sort this one out at all and unfortunately either over value’s the neighbor’s property or undervalues your home.



What if your property is one house from the freeway and a comparison property is close by and in the same zip code, but 1 ½ blocks from the freeway? Now let’s get back to the dramatic price swing.


Let’s suppose three homes sell in the same 30-day period in the Brentwood area, and each is different in there own way.


  • Home #1 is a fixer upper with a poor floor plan on a busy street.

  • Home #2 has a steep hill in the rear and only a small patio for a yard.

  • Home #3 was sold privately to a developer off market and is now tagged for demolition.

Zillow only knows the basic criteria, not the details, and from their prospective based on these three sales, the market has dropped.


These sales have caused Zillow to zap the price estimate for your home in Brentwood, even though your home has all new landscaping, a beautiful 1-year old kitchen, new wiring, a studio/media room with the best surround sound built into your garage, and French doors going out to a fabulous deck? Does your home have a view? Oops, Zillow forgot to give value for that too.


Moral of the story - have your home estimated by either an appraiser or knowledgeable Brentwood Real Estate Agent.


For further advise or for an estimate of value you are invited and welcome to email, ron@ronwynn.com.

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