Zillow Zestimates pretty good to way off in Chicago

I received an email from Zillow.com this morning with a link to their Chicago home values. A nice looking chart of Zillow’s Home Value Index for Chicago appeared. Zillow defines the index as the mid-point of Zestimate valuations for Chicago. Half the Zestimates are above this number and half are below it.

A Zestimate is Zillow’s estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. I’ve written in the past about how I’ve found many Zestimates to be significantly incorrect. So I checked Zillow’s Zestimates for a few home sales I’ve recently been involved in. The results ranged from pretty good to way off the mark.

Zillow’s Zestimate for 7612 N Rogers #2 is $339,000. My listing just closed yesterday for $334,000 so Zillow’s Zestimate was off by less than 2%. Pretty good!

Zillow’s Zestimate for 516 W Oakdale 4E is $505,500. My buyer closed on the sale this morning for $569,000 so Zillow was off more than 11%. Anyone familiar with 3 bedroom 2 bath Lakeview condos will tell you that one on the top floor with a private rooftop deck in a elevator building is worth far more than $505,500! Not so good!

Zillow’s Zestimate for 3053 N Lakewood is $643,500. My buyers bought it in March for $572,000 so Zillow was off again more than 11%. Not so good!

Zillow’s Zestimate for a River North condo some buyers of mine are considering is less than $1.3M. Priced around $2M, I think it’s a bit overpriced, but not by 65%! Way off!

So when you look at those colorful Zillow Home Value Index Charts, keep in mind that they are based on Zestimates which can be pretty good to way off.


Fran Bailey Fran Bailey is a Realtor who has been quoted in numerous Chicago and national publications. To schedule showings for any listings, get a free market analysis for your home or to contact Fran email her at fran.bailey@bairdwarner.com or call 773-793-4516. Learn More