I want to talk to you today about the difference between a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) from a Real Estate agent and the Zillow Zestimate.

A Comparative Market Analysis or a CMA is a comparision of prices of properties that have sold in the same area of a subject property.  It’s an in depth process that considers many factors including condition, location, desirability among many other things. This is what a realtor does to determine the list price when trying to sell your home or when making an offer on one to purchase. Here are just a few things your Real Estate agent will do to provide you with a CMA: 

  • Your agent will use information about comparable properties in the right neighborhood rather than come up with a number based on all the houses in the county.
  • Your agent will investigate for and note issues like roof condition, structural problems, kitchen upgrades, etc.
  • Your agent will know information about schools, parks, shopping and lots of other area information that are important to the home value.
  • Your agent can factor in all of these and more to come up with a much more accurate market value.

As you probably already know the Zestimate is Zillow’s estimated market value.  Zillow’s system is an automated one. That’s important. Using enormous amounts of data collected from public records, such as the sales price of the home the last time it sold, what all the homes in the county sold for the last time they sold, county tax collector’s assessed value, and data like home features entered by the homeowner on the Zillow site, their secret algorithms come up with the Zestimate.  The problem with the Zestimate is that it is a really wide range of pricing and more importantly Zillow is not walking into your home to see the condition or do they know if you live in a least or most desirable street in town.  Here is a very short list of other things the Zestimate does not know:

  • It does not know if the kitchen was just upgraded.
  • It does not know if there is a major structural problem with the house.
  • It does not know if the roof needs to be replaced.
  • It does not know there is a security system, or a surround sound system, etc.

You get the idea.

Wouldn’t you say these unknown things are important to the market value of the house? These and other unknown things are what separates Zestimates from CMA’s. The knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent uses plenty of accurate data available to the profession and not to Zillow and a thorough knowledge of the area to combine the art with the science necessary to come up with a much more accurate market value for the property. So you may get your heart set on a price based on what Zillow says but unless you hire a Realtor to help fine tune that price you could be disappointed.

Have you used Zillow or thought about using it to find out what your home is worth in today’s market? Would you like a much more accurate estimate at no cost or obligation to you? Good news! I can do that for you! I do it all the time and have been for many years. Not only that, I would love to do it!

If you would like a professionally prepared CMA for your house, just call me at 209-923-7119 or just Find out how much Your Home is Worth.


You may also like Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time.

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About Kierston Kellstrom
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