Zillow values $8.5 – $9 million home at $1.5 million?

by Maureen McCabe on January 20, 2008

money in the air

A Central Ohio home

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous…

Is Robin Leach still around? He is. Leach is hanging out with the rich and famous in Las Vegas and has a “popular” blog on AOL – Luxe Life Vegas

A comment 0n a TechCrunch post ‘Zillow Adds 10 Million Homes, Adopts Real Estate Data Standard With Yahoo and Trulia’ says:

# Erick

January 10th, 2008 at 10:25 am

I have a friend who’s parents own one of the most expensive houses in Columbus OH. They are selling it for 8.5-9 million dollars. Zillow zestimates it at 1.5 or so. That’s REALLY lame. I dont understand the issue since the comparibles in the area are around the 4 to 5 million dollars i believe so 1.5 just seems real off.

I am not sure where Erick got his information that Zillow has a home that is on the market for 8.5 or 9 million dollars Zestimated* at 1.5 million dollars. It’s not that way now.


Call me nosy but by “on the market,” I assume Erick means listed with a brokerage that is a member of the Columbus Board of Realtors. I did not think we had homes that high in price in our market (the “luxury” market is not my area of expertise.) I found only 2 homes over 5 million dollars on the market in Central Ohio… looking at the Columbus Board of Realtors multiple listing service. If I’d noticed the second comment from Erick (is this Erick the writer of the Tech Crunch piece? The name of the commenter is not linked but the article is written by Erick Schonfeld…) I would have known the home he says is selling for 8.5 to 9 million dollars is in New Albany.

In response to another comment, Erick wrote:

# Erick

January 10th, 2008 at 11:20 am

@JSM – The house is rural. Outside the outterbelt where parking isnt an issue. Its in the New Albany area if that helps. Same neighborhood Les Wexner lives in.


Central Ohio homes over 7 million dollars – 2 properties

Property One

According to Zillow:


“ZESTIMATE®: $4,603,000


Value Range: $3,912,550 – $4,695,060


30-day change: -$17,000


Zestimate updated: 01/03/2008″


Second home over 5 million…


“Zestimate®: $4,150,500


* Value Range: $3,527,925 – $4,233,510

* 30-day change: -$15,500


Zestimate updated: 01/03/2008″

I will agree that there is still a huge difference in value between the properties list price and their Zestimates but I don’t see the 1.5 million dollar estimate (or Zestimate) that Erick is concerned with.

What is a Zestimate* according to Zillow:

A Zestimate home valuation is Zillow’s estimated market value. It is not an appraisal. Use it as a starting point to determine a home’s value.
The Value Range is the high and low estimated market value for which Zillow values a home. The more information, the smaller the range, and the more accurate the Zestimate.”

Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet…

Search for homes on Real Living HER (the IDX from the MLS – broker to broker_

Luxury Homes – Gold and Platinum Homes

The $4,150,500 to $4,603,000 values that Zillow is using? Look at the county auditors site.

Erick’s comment about the home being in an area that has comparables (homes sold) in the 4 to 5 million dollar range is odd… maybe new builds that did not go through the multiple listing service… are selling like hot cakes in New Albany in the 4 to 5 million dollar range… I don’t find those comparables for resales though… again this is not my area of expertise.  What do I know?

Zestimates have been highly inaccurate. Zillow’s value ranges are huge…

Real Living is putting ALL of our (It’s Real Living HER in Central Ohio) listings on Zillow… I was Googling for news on the Zillow / Real Living reconciliation when I found Erick’s comment on TechCrunch.


Real Living “Loves Z Loves Z Not…”

Beyond the Call of Doody

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columbusbestblog.com » Blog Archive » Zillow Zindex for Columbus
February 13, 2008 at 03:20 am


1 Chris Griffith January 20, 2008 at 07:12 am

Just the facts, maam. :)

2 Ginger Wilcox January 20, 2008 at 10:03 am

I am not normally a Zillow defender either, but I would expect their zestimates to be off on multi-million dollar homes. These homes are hard to price for real estate professionals, let alone some computer program. The price is usually dependent luxury upgrades, views, etc that cannot be detected by a computer system.

3 Maureen McCabe January 20, 2008 at 10:32 am

Thanks for the comments ladies.

Ginger I think those are what Sellsius Real Estate blog meant by “unZillowable…”

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