Saturday, March 26, 2011

Zillow Showcase Ads: Are their numbers fudged?

In putting our house on the market (Guilderland House for Sale), I posted information on a number of real estate websites. My first choice was Zillow, because I like the site myself, including the Zillow iPhone app.

One of the things I decided to try on Zillow is Zillow Showcase Ads. I was reviewing the numbers today and found something disturbing.

Zillow says that my showcase ad has had twenty clicks. But I'm not seeing these results on the other end:

Per Google Analytics, I've only had four visits from Zillow at all, and only two of them came from Zillow ads.

Is Zillow fudging the numbers for its Zillow Showcase Ads? Please post comments. I'm interested to see what others have experienced.


MaryAnn said...

I just checked out my house. (Which is NOT for sale :D) I have had the same local bank as my mortgage lender since I bought the house in 1999. According to Zillow someone paid a LOT of money for my house in '04 which they claim was the last time my house was sold. TOTALLY fudged!

Anonymous said...

Zillow is an monolithic estimator by using inaccurate and incomplete public records and sales listing of similar houses, although halfway,
thus if many homes in your area sell for a given range but you have a home with a larger unreported space, an condo or apartment that is included, zillow will be inaccurate, I don't use or trust zillow, I don't think they fudge the numbers but they use a wrong and silly way of calculating.

To answer Maryann, sometimes the deed may incorrectly report the sales price from paper to computer so that may be the reason.

To make it simple if you have 12 homes identical to eachother in a suburban development in america than zillow would be near perfect, say a homeowner building near identical 2000 square foot homes on a block. Even though there may be variables but given that albany or most of new york is not like that, older, different homes, and the like, I would not use zillow they just take automated data.

MaryAnn said...

:D "Incorrect" and "inaccurate" is the same as fudged, which is just a nicer word for "out and out LIE" ...And might I add a reallllly reallllly bad business practice. :(

Anonymous said...

Public records are inaccurate but not necessarily fudged, for instance a few zeroes may be missing or maybe a estate sale occurred.

Square footage may not be exact on the deed, and public records do not tell whether the property has any historical value or any problems such as being in a certain location for instance the identical homes that zillow compares may not be in front of a school or have special water-views.