This is part two of our Zillow Facts series. Today we’re discussing Zestimates.

Today I’ll continue with my favorite subject: Zillow. I’m going to discuss Zestimates. 

We talk about Zestimates to most of our clients that are getting ready to sell. They’ve often looked up the value of their home on Zillow and they get an idea of what they think their home is worth. The thing that most people don’t realize about Zillow is that their Zestimates are based on the sales prices of properties. Alaska is one of seven non-disclosure states. Nowhere in any public site in Alaska is it disclosed what you paid for your property—that is your confidential information. The only people who have access to the sales price are the real estate agents who sold the home and appraisers. 

Zestimates are usually taken off of tax records. Any product that estimates the value of your home in Alaska is complete guesswork. Please do not rely on Zillow’s Zestimates to price your home, especially if you are thinking about doing a FSBO. You’re likely going to be off on your pricing. 

A question I often get is why there is inaccurate information on Zillow. It’s because they go to public sites to assemble information and it gets disseminated down into Zillow. 

“Any product that estimates the value of your home in Alaska is complete guesswork.”

New programs at Zillow are coming out. Before, Zillow was just an information service. Now, they are trying very hard to become a real estate company. One of the programs they’re rolling out, that’s already in multiple locations in the lower 48, is what they call the iBuyer program or Instant Buyer program. If you want to sell your home and don’t want to deal with listing and showing it, you call Zillow or fill out their paperwork and they will contact you. Keep in mind, they only buy the home of about 2% to 2.5% of all the people who apply. It can be a great program if money is not an issue, or if timing is more critical. Otherwise, if you want to get the most money for your home, you need to hire an expert, local agent who knows the economy and the area. 

They also have mortgage programs, and I advise you to stay away from those. Alaska has very different laws than many states in the lower 48. To save you a lot of time, inconvenience, and stress, use a local lender.

If you are looking to buy or sell, feel free to give us a call or email us. We would love to help you.