There are several reasons why Zillow may not always be accurate:
- Data accuracy: Zillow relies on various sources for its data, such as public records, user-submitted information, and feeds from Multiple Listing Services (MLS). These sources may not always provide up-to-date or accurate information, leading to discrepancies in property details like square footage, number of bedrooms or bathrooms, and property values.
- Lack of direct access: Zillow does not have direct access to MLS data in all markets, which can lead to incomplete or outdated data. In some cases, listings may not be promptly updated or removed after a property is sold or taken off the market, causing inaccurate information to persist.
- Automated valuation models (AVMs): Zillow uses AVMs to estimate property values, but these models often cannot account for unique factors that can affect a property's worth, such as condition, renovations, or specific neighborhood characteristics. As a result, the estimated Zillow home value (Zestimate) may not always align with the actual market value.
- Limited local expertise: Zillow's automated system may lack the nuance and local expertise of real estate professionals who have firsthand knowledge of the local market. Local conditions, such as neighborhood trends, zoning changes, or upcoming developments, can have a significant impact on property values but might not be fully captured by Zillow's algorithms.
- User-submitted data and reviews: Zillow allows users to update information and leave reviews, which can introduce subjective or incorrect information that further affects accuracy. While Zillow has measures to verify user-submitted data, it still relies partially on user input, making it susceptible to errors and misleading information.
Overall, while Zillow can be a useful starting point for researching properties and getting a general idea of market trends, it is important to corroborate their information with other reliable sources and consult real estate professionals for accurate and up-to-date data.