David Saks: Zillow Flash-Memphis Homes Are Worth .6% Less : Puhleeeze Virginia, Gimmee A Break !

David Saks - Real Estate Broker - The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc. - 4040 North Watkins-Suite #4 - Memphis, Tennessee 38127 - Phone (901) 357-4663

Zillow Flash-Memphis Homes Are Worth .6% Less : Puhleeeze Virginia, Gimmee A Break !


I got an email from Zillow about ten minutes ago.

According to Zillow's latest Home Value Report, home values in Memphis decreased 0.6% in the first quarter of 2008, compared to the first quarter of 2007. although they didn't tell what it was compared to.

Nationally, single-family home values decreased 7.5% while condo values declined 9.0% during this same period.

That's point six percent boys and girls, so that 300 thousand dollar house is worth 1800 bucks less now according to the infinite wisdom of Zillow.

Should one use this information to benefit or scare their clients away?

David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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Comment balloon 14 commentsDavid Saks • May 13 2008 03:53PM


I don't particularly like Zillow.  Their statistics are based on sales and refinances and are usually not even close to being accurate.  I wish the AMerican Public would not put so much validity in this site.

Posted by Maria Holland, Realtor, ABR, GRI, CDPE, SFR (RE/Max Homes & Estates, ABR,GRI, CDPE, SFR) almost 12 years ago

I don't find Zillow that useful. It was entertaining in the boom but there is no way it can be accurate it today's market.

Posted by Home Staging (Showhomes) almost 12 years ago

I'd like to think my own CMA is more valuable than Zillow.com, or any other website along those lines.  And, I don't hesitate to tell potential customers that.

Posted by Eric Boyd, FL Licensed Real Estate Broker / Property Manager (Step One Realty, LLC, 904-469-6335) almost 12 years ago

It has some utilitarian value, Maria, especially if you need a map of the neighborhood. Thanks for commenting. Hope your having a nice day.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) almost 12 years ago

Mostly agreed, Thomas. although their demographics might ring truer the closer one gets to their headquarters. :-)They take a while update don't thsy? Thanks for posting. Hope your weeks off to a nice start.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) almost 12 years ago

Sounds great, Eric. A local, timely, CMA should certainly prevail over the Zestimate. Thanks for posting. Hope your having a fine day.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) almost 12 years ago

OK...this is the third time I've tried to answer...and it keeps disappearing!

I do think we should share Market Information with our clients. I prefer local info from my State Organization...Zillow is pretty much for show!

David...you should do a Blog about your music days...you've had such an interesting past!

Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Hi, it's David G from Zillow,

Geez, tough room!

A Zestimate certainly is no substitute for a CMA or an appraisal. It's not intended to be.

I know I'm biased but I actually think we do a good job of providing agents, buyers and sellers with information to understand Zestimate accuracy and that this data can help agents demonstrate an understanding of local market trends. For example, speaking to a seller who's attached to their Zestimate value you could say something like (using Memphis as an example):

"I saw that. Did you see Zillow's median error in Shelby County is 8,6%? We need to be more accurate when we decide on the final price of your home. The good news is that Zillow reported only .6% depreciation in Tenesee homes compared to 7.7% countrywide! Now, lets take a look at my detailed CMA and see how close Zillow is on this one ..."

@David - great blog - keep it up!

Posted by David Gibbons (Zillow.com) almost 12 years ago

Joan, sorry about the trouble with the posts. There were some web issues that are resolved now. I post from a dial-up at one location and a dsl at another. The dial-up has crashed a couple of times and trashed a blog entry or two.

Local info is great and reviewing available recorded documents is easier through the county register's office. Thanks much for the kind thoughts about the music.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) almost 12 years ago

Thanks for the clarification David G. We're absolutely agreed on the substitution issue. Honored to have your thoughts on this page, and ditto for Zillow...it's great. I know that it'll improve daily and is still , kind of, in it's infancy. Hope you have a great week ahead.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) almost 12 years ago


I subscribe to Zillow and just got a data report from them that said Oakland (in Fayette County), is down .1 percent.  I question that as it seems to me that it's more than that.  

Posted by Jolynna McCune, Affiliate Broker (Groome & Co. REALTORS) almost 12 years ago

Zillow needs time-sensitive reporting providing a greater level of accuracy, and becomes questionable when the disparity is wide when compared to precise local data. Thanks, Jolynna, for bringing your comparison to my attention. MAAR April market statistics are available here . Hope you have a great weekend.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) almost 12 years ago

At least you can surprise your people and say its higher.  Here zillow is saying its 60k over priced.  THan people are heartbroke when you tell them.

Posted by Utah Dave, Homes for Sale - Utah (UtahDave.com Neighborhood Experts) almost 12 years ago

Good thoughts, Dave. The math makes me wonder....some of these calculations are just downright absurd, and I think part of it's because of market volatility. The other part isnvolves miscalculated averages. I'm sure there are other factors creating these discrepancies. Zillow is getting better, however. Hope your having a fine weekend.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) almost 12 years ago

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