I use Zillow all the time. Given that they have 3-4 million visitors per month, putting my listings on Zillow is smart thing to do. I also mouse around from time to time to see anything new like the Q&A’s, Make Me Move’s, and other listings for sale.
I have been saying for a while that Zillow’s Zestimates can be very inaccurate when it comes to valuing properties in the Big Bear Lake area. This is certainly nothing new as there are many articles out there about this. This fact has never been more true than when using Zillow to put values on the lakefront properties in Big Bear. The valuation tool Zillow uses does not appear to have any way of knowing that properties on the water and will have a higher value than those properties in the immediate area that are not on the water.
I recently posted a lakefront home for sale at 779 Cove Dr. in Big Bear Lake. Initially, the price was set at $1,499,000. Zillow’s Zestimate was approximately $400,000 for this property. We reduced the price to $1,375,000 and then sold for $1,300,000 on 11/15/2007, about 92 days total on the market. Zillow’s value has now jumped over $800,000 in the last month to a total of $1,202,000.
My point here is not meant to bash Zillow. As I stated before, I think there are many great benefits Zillow can offer real estate agents and consumers in Big Bear. But, using Zillow to price your property in Big Bear can be like pulling a number out of a hat. More times than not, the number you come up with will be the wrong one.
A better way to find out the value of your Big Bear home is to have an experienced, professional real estate agent give you a market evaluation. A real estate agent who has been in the business a while and knows the values in your neighborhood or, as with Big Bear lakefronts, your type of property. You can also hire a local appraiser if you want to spend $400 to $500 on that.