Is Zillow.com A Good Website for Property Values?

If you are speaking with anyone in real estate business (mortgage broker, bank, realtor, etc.) and they log onto www.zillow.com to give you an estimated value for your home you better run away from that person as fast as you can.  It is not that it’s a bad site but no professional in this business should ever use that as a basis for what your property is currently worth.  I always contact my appraiser to find out a range of value.  Lenders require an appraisal to have comparable sales within the last 3 months, within certain distances away from the home (Florida about .5 miles), an active listing, and a sale outside of the development. 

I currently have a client who went to one of the bigger banks (I won’t mention any names) and the loan officer at the bank used Zillow to see if client had the required amount of equity in the home. 

Can Zillow be right?  Of course they can but a monkey can also throw darts at a list of stocks in The Wall Street Journal and produce a profit.  That doesn’t mean it’s the right way to do it.