Raise the Value of Your Home Without Spending a Dollar

Home ValueWe all wish our homes were worth more, don’t we? Value is in the eye of the beholder, and in a real estate sale, a home buyer’s perception of value is linked to what they will spend for a home.

How Would A Buyer Decide What to Pay for Your Home?

  • Recent Sales
  • Prices of Competing Homes
  • Zestimate – Zillow’s Home Valuation Tool

Of the three, the Zestimate is the least accurate and most misunderstood method. What could be simpler than plugging an address into a website and seeing a magic number pop up? Zestimates are notorious for being wildly inaccurate, and a rep from Zillow actually told me yesterday that they are meant, in part, as “entertainment value”. However, that doesn’t stop buyers from believing the number, at least to some degree.

Zestimate Defined

The Zestimate® (pronounced ZEST-ti-met, rhymes with estimate) home valuation is Zillow’s estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home’s value. The Zestimate is calculated from public and user submitted data.

Claim Your Home

If you go to Zillow’s website, you can input your home address and see your Zestimate–and your neighbors’ Zestimates, too! More importantly, you can supplement the usually incomplete information Zillow has on your home, and you can even correct mistakes.

Post Your Own Estimate

Zillow allows you to post your own estimate of value, based upon a recent appraisal, a market analysis or your own opinion.

Will the Zestimate Change?

Zestimates are refreshed three times per week. Editing your home facts may or may not significantly affect your home’s zestimate, but changes in the home values surrounding your home will have some impact on your value. It occurred to me that if an entire neighborhood were to add some details about their properties, maybe the Zestimates would be on the way to catching up to what we believe our homes are worth.

Steps to Take

  1. Go to www.Zillow.com
  2. Enter your home address
  3. Edit details about your home and correct any mistakes
  4. Post Your Own Estimate
  5. Add some photos (optional)

We did this and got an email that same day, stating our Zestimate was raised.


You will be asked to create a consumer profile. No one will contact you as a result of this profile, but they ask for some info to be sure you’re you.

After you edit your home’s details, you’ll get an email from Zillow thanking you and letting you know what other tools are available for you. One such tool is the “Make Me Move” price you can put on your home. Be cautious about taking that step. If agents look for potential home sellers this way, you might find one on your doorstep. I’d probably skip this step, unless you are wanting to see an agent on your doorstep for some reason…

Home Prices Are Always Changing

At any rate, it’s kind of fun to check out the website now and then and see if your Zestimate changes for the better. The inventory of homes for sale is at the lowest point in years, and prices are going up as multiple offers become the norm. The one thing we know about the real estate market is it’s always changing!

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