Zestimate: (GIGO) Garbage in .... Garbage out

Zillow ‘Zestimate’ Shifts, Prompting Howls


Bill Garber, a spokesman for the Appraisal Institute, the main trade group for U.S. property appraisers, said that Zestimates, like most automated valuation models, or AVMs, are not used by appraisers as a benchmark because they are based on public information and information from local multiple-listing services that is often inaccurate.

“Zestimates are a form of AVM … AVMs have limitations, the biggest being the lack of inspection and oversight of any improvements. Complex markets render them nearly useless. They’re basically an aggregation of public records data, and public records are riddled with errors,” Mr. Garber wrote in an email. “Some AVMs are now intermixing MLS information, which is also filled with incorrect information. Garbage in, garbage out.”

Comment: Still interesting. My take is that the Hennepin County home value (on the tax bill) is pretty accurate.

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