How Does Zillow Really Work?

Answers to Recent Questions About this Popular Platform

Q: Is my Zestimate accurate? How does Zillow come up with the value?

A: Zestimates are often not accurate. Zillow has an algorithm they use based on recent sales, and tax values. Because the system used isn’t always neighborhood specific values might not be reflected correctly.

Q: My house is listed for sale with a local realtor on the MLS, why is some of the information on Zillow inaccurate?

A: The information feed doesn’t always transfer 100% correctly and does need to be monitored by the agent & seller. Bathroom count seems to be one of the most common errors.

Q: Is Zillow just a website to feature house listings or does Zillow employ agents?

A: Zillow has expanded beyond only featuring listings to also having agent employees. Note that this applies currently to “Zillow Owned Homes” which are available in some areas (including Minneapolis/St.Paul.)

Q: Why does a listing show up as still active on Zillow but then I come to find it already has an accepted offer?

A: Unlike the MLS, Zillow only changes the status of an active property to pending once contingencies are lifted. This lag in status updates makes it difficult for buyers to know which properties have accepted offers.

Q: What is something I should be aware of if I am a buyer calling about a listing I see on Zillow?

A: Oftentimes the agent featured is an agent who bought a zip code from Zillow—it is not the listing agent of the property.

Q: Why has Zillow been in the headlines recently?

A: Zillow announced it will be acquiring the company Showing Time–a third party platform that many brokers use to schedule real estate showings.

Q: I have my home listed as Coming Soon with the local MLS will it show up on Zillow?

A: Zillow does post “coming soon,” but they don’t post the “available to show date.” In this ultra-competitive market, it’s important to connect with your agent so you can make your appointment in a timely fashion. With no overlapping showing times due to Covid, it limits how many people can see the house in one day.

EMAIL US if you’re looking for answers to more real estate questions.

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