How to Increase Your Home's Zillow Zestimate
How to increase your home's Zillow Zestimate is a question that many home sellers ask before listing their homes for sale. Whether it is fair or not, homebuyers look at a home’s Zillow Zestimate to gauge the true value of the home. Although there are other independent measures of a home’s value, including Zillow’s rival Trulia’s estimate and independent home appraisals, a home's Zillow Zestimate is considered by many buyers to be the most reliable gauge of a home’s value.
What home sellers need to know is that increasing a home's Zillow Zestimate is not difficult. What Zillow often lacks is accurate up to date information about a home, which can cause Zillow to calculate a Zestimate for a home that is lower than it should be due to a lack of information about what the home actually has as far as amenities. Luckily, this information is something you can easily provide to Zillow to potentially increase your home's Zillow Zestimate.
Increase Your Home's Zillow Zestimate
How To Increase Your Home's Zillow Zestimate: The Power Is In Your Hands
The power to increase your home's Zillow Zestimate is in your hands. The first thing you need to do is go to zillow.com, create a free account, and then look up your home. Once you have found your home on Zillow, claim it as your home. Once you claim your home, you are free to update the amenities within and around your home, add a description of your home, what you like about your home, and even what you believe your home is worth.
Make Sure You Check Off All of The Amenities
Read the list of amenities that Zillow provides carefully and check off boxes that apply to your home. Be sure you do not miss anything, as each amenity will factor into the Zestimate for your home. You can further describe any amenities in your description of your home. For example, Zillow has a check off for attic. You can check it off and then use your description of your home to describe the condition of your attic. For example: “The attic has plywood and a pull down ladder that provides ample extra storage space.”
Tailor Your Description To Meet Your Buyer’s Needs
In description of your home, think like a buyer and tailor your description to suit their needs. For example, if you assume most of your potential buyers will need easy access to commuting options to get to work, then emphasize how convenient your home is for commuters. For example: “Located only five minutes from the local train station. Also, a commuter bus has a stop approximately one-quarter mile away.” Other than that, the description should emphasis things that buyers look for in a home, such as: remodeled bathrooms, stainless steel appliances, stone countertops, a fenced-in yard, and terms such as “move in ready” or “in a great area for families,” if the statements are applicable.
Get Creative About What You Like About Your Home
In the what you like about your home section on Zillow, describe amenities and other things about your home that may not be readily apparent to potential buyers. For example, if there is a park a half-block away or a beautiful view from your home, make sure you emphasize that when describing what you like about your home. Buyers with children may like the fact that there is a park within walking distance. Other buyers may be looking for a home that has a nice view, instead of a view of the back of another home. Get creative regarding what you like about your home. You can even mention amenities in your area, such as shopping or entertainment, as they can help sell people on buying your home.
Be Realistic About What Your Home Is Worth
If you are going to put a value on Zillow in the what you believe your home is worth section, make sure it aligns with your asking price for your home. You do not want to list your home for sale at a price higher than what you publicly state on Zillow what you believe your home is worth. Be realistic when considering what you believe your home is worth. People naturally tend to think their home is worth more than it actually is. Take a few moments to see what homes of similar style, condition, and size have sold for in your area recently and formulate a realistic value for your home.
Avoid Exaggerations Regarding Your Home
Be honest when updating your home's Zillow information. While it is tempting to exaggerate a home’s amenities, any exaggerations could turn off potential buyers or even lead to a lawsuit if someone purchases your home and finds the information provided to be inaccurate. If you have a nice home, describing any amenities accurately should be all you need to attract buyers. Keep in mind that Zillow’s Zestimates are not updated instantly, and it could take weeks or months for any changes you have made to be reflected in the Zestimate for your home.
Why It Is Important To Update Your Home's Zillow Information
While there are no guarantees that adding additional information to the Zillow page dedicated to your home will result in an increase to your home's Zillow Zestimate, providing additional information certainly cannot hurt. If amenities that exist in your home, such as a fenced in yard or hard wood floors, are not selected in Zillow, then in most cases Zillow will assume you do not have them and will likely reduce the Zestimate for your home. You also want potential buyers to see all the amenities your home has to offer. While the description of your home and what you like about your home sections on Zillow may not directly impact the Zestimate, they could impact potential buyers’ decisions to look at your home and ultimately to buy your home.
Of course, it is also important to list your home for sale on Zillow once you have updated the information. Many people in the market to buy a home will fly over a neighborhood they are interested in buying a home in. When you list your home with Zillow, a red symbol of a home will appear on your property, which alerts buyers that your home is for sale. They can then click on the red home symbol to see the Zillow page for your home that includes the detailed information about your home that you provided. Make sure that those potential buyers have plenty of information about your home, so they form a positive opinion and want to contact their realtor to view your home in person.
Zillow Zestimate Poll
What Do You Think of Zillow's Zestimate?
Understanding the Zillow Zestimate
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
My neighbor's house across the street is the same floor plan but does not have a finished basement (our house does). Why is their Zestimate ~ $80K higher than our house? I do not see any differences in the Zillow features and amenities.Helpful 4
My house has 6 bedrooms 4 baths, 2810 sq feet, 7500 sf lot, built in 1991. My neighbor has 3 bedrooms 1.5 bath, 960sf, 7500 lot, built in 1979. Rent zestimate shows my house as $2600 and my neighbor as $2500. Why a difference of only $100 between these 2 homes? Zillow estimates the value as $829,000 and my neighbor as $529,000.
Sounds like you have a nice house! Zillow is obviously wrong about the rent Zestimate. A house that is 3X in size and is similar condition should command a lot more rent than a smaller one. Probably not 3X times in rent, but considerably more than the smaller house. Just look around local rent listings to see what your house should rent for. Rent prices are a very localized thing based on neighborhood, access to transportation, and of course demand.Helpful 1
My house estimate on Zillow went down $100k suddenly for. The house is not for sale. And this sudden drop only happened to my house in the neighborhood. What could be the reason?
Wow! I'm sorry to hear that the Zestimate for your house went down by 100K. What is that percentage-wise based on the overall value of your home? I would look into if there have been any recent sales in your area that have been below market and are being used by Zillow to determine the value of your home. I don't know why it only happened to your house. It could be that the other houses are valued based on other comparables based on their value and features, or it could be that they will soon experience a similar percentage drop.Helpful 12
I had a Zestimate of $360,000 and listed my home on Zillow's Make Me Move for $400,000. Four days after my listing, the Zestimate fell to $300,000. This could cause serious problems if I decide to list my home for sale. We paid $300,000 for the home over 6 years ago and have put $80k into renovations and upgrades, so I don't think $400k is an unreasonable ask. Is there anything I can do to get Zillow to recognize this?
Make sure you claim your home and update all of the information, particularly any information that has changed due to your recent renovations and upgrades. That is how Zillow will become aware of them and potentially adjust the Zestimate.
Putting a Make Me Move price in probably prompted Zillow to look at comparable home sales in your area, which is the most likely explanation of your Zestimate drop. Take a look at which home sales they are using to compare your home's value as part of the Zestimate.Helpful 4
We followed your instructions and every time we added something to zillow, they decreased our value. It is now so low it is affecting the sale of our home. We have emailed them and they refused to look at a bank appraisal or anything we had to prove the value of our property. Everytime we emailed, our zestimate got decreased the next day. It is now $30,000 below a bank appraisal that was done 5 years ago and we have added $20,000 in improvements. What do you suggest we do now?
Adding information to Zillow that makes your home more valuable shouldn't decrease the Zestimate. For example, if you have hardwood floors, but Zillow didn't know that, then adding that info should be a net positive for your Zestimate. I would look into whether there are other factors that are affecting the value of your home, such as comparable sales that they are comparing your home value to in order to calculate the Zestimate. Comparable sales are used by real estate agents to get an idea about what a home is worth, so I would assume Zillow puts a lot of weight into those numbers. Get a professional real estate professional's opinion regarding what they think your home is worth based on comparable sales and their knowledge of the local market and the improvements you have made. The good news is that it is not uncommon for homes to sell above the Zestimate, sometimes substantially above it. You just have to impress a buyer enough to get them to pay your asking price. If your renovations are impressive and you work with a good realtor who knows how to sell homes in your area, you have a good chance of getting your price.
For my home, the comparable sales don't always seem fair or consistent with what type of home I have, and I think it's worth more than the Zestimate, but I can't do anything about what sales they are using to compare my house to in order to come up with their Zestimate. Some areas that have high property have been hit quite hard by the recent change in federal tax law that limits how much State and local taxes one can deduct from their Federal taxes, and it has caused property values to fall as it has taken buyers out of the market or made people bid on lower-priced properties, since the cost of owning a home has essentially gone up in areas hit hard by the State and local tax deduction change. The area I live in has been hit by this tax change, with prices falling slightly over the past year and Zestimates falling as well.
Remember, you just need one buyer that really likes your home and is willing to pay up for it. The problem is finding that buyer. That's why finding a good real estate agent, who really knows your area and is committed to selling your home is extremely important. They can get the right people into your home to see how you improved it and understand that its worth what you are asking to sell it for. Don't hire a friend who is a real estate agent that works five towns over because you want to do them a favor. Hire someone in your town who has a really good reputation and the connections with other local agents to sell your home.Helpful 9
© 2013 John Coviello