Many people are focused on value Zillow places on their homes, but often, their homes may be undervalued in Zillow. That’s because Zillow’s “Zestimate” is based on a computer algorithm that considers a lot of factors.
How does Zillow calculate the value of your home?
Zillow tracks and calculates home values for 97.5 million houses across America and they use raw data such as square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms and acreage along with their data base of county tax assessment records and comparing your home to other zestimates and actual sales.
Zillow uses a proprietary computer algorithm to calculate the most accurate estimate of your home possible. Your home’s zestimate is just a figure Zillow has come up with using that proprietary algorithm. It shouldn’t be used as a appraisal, but as the company claims, “a starting point.”
How can you improve or increase your home value on Zillow?
There are some things you can do on your own to make sure your zestimate is not underrepresenting your home. This is not a cheat or a trick, but Zillow even recommends that homeowners update their zillow listing.
The first thing you need to do is create a personal account on Zillow and claim your home as your own. Once logged in, you can go to your home’s Zillow listing and click on “My Zillow”.
Go through your home facts and make sure it’s accurate. Don’t lie. If you have new hardwood floors and your home shows your old shag carpets, update it. Make sure everything is correct and make sure all of your investments that don’t show up on tax assessor reports, comps, etc are updated.
If there are errors in your Zillow listing, fix them. If it says your home is 2,400 square feet, but it’s really 2,600 square feet, update it. Add to your listing whatever you think could make your home more attractive to potential buyers that is not currently listed.
It may take some time for your zestimate to change in Zillow. Give it a few weeks at least. Don’t go in and keep making changes either unless something actually changes, such as a new deck, new pool or a bathroom remodel.