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New Zestimate Tool No Longer a Wild Guesstimate of Home Values

by Nena Perry-Brown

Zillow has released a new version of its much-debated Zestimate home valuation tool. 

Yesterday, Zillow announced an update to Zestimate which empowers the tool to estimate the value of homes within a less-than two percent margin of error. As UrbanTurf reported, Zillow concluded a contest earlier this year to improve the tool's accuracy, selecting a team which had developed an algorithm 13 percent better than the Zestimate benchmark.

Zestimate offers visitors to Zillow's website an estimate of a home's value based on a variety of public data, yielding results which many homeowners complained undervalued their properties. Prior to the contest, 66 percent of the 1.8 million homes with Zestimates in the DC area were valued within 5 percent of their sale price and 93.8 percent were valued within 20 percent, leaving a 3.1 percent margin of error which was negligible compared to Zestimate's lackluster accuracy in other metro areas.

The updated tool now uses a variety of additional factors to assess value, including photographs, quality of finishes and curb appeal. Zestimate also takes real-time data, like listing price and days on market, into account. 

“The new Zestimate was inspired by the way the human brain interprets scenes, objects, and images,” Stan Humphries, Chief Analytics Officer and creator of the Zestimate, said in a statement. “It’s a big leap forward, because it means the Zestimate can now understand not just a home’s facts and figures, but its quality and curb appeal. By training neural networks using the millions of home photos on Zillow, the Zestimate now values the features people are most proud of.”

See other articles related to: zillow, zestimate, home values

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/new-zestimate-tool-no-longer-a-wild-guesstimate-of-home-values/15601

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