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Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239 CMA's always have and always will be the determining factor in how a property is priced.

Apr 11, 2015 11:52 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

My clients or prospects expect me to plus or minus 3% accurate on my CMA whereas Zillow has a disclaimer stating it may be off between 10 to 35% off depending on your area. Hmmm!

Apr 11, 2015 02:30 PM
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

CMA - Always! 

Apr 11, 2015 11:58 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

What makes the CMA more accurate?

What I hear most is agents crossing their fingers and toes hoping the house appraises correctly. It seems they don't know what the value really is.

It is for this reason I created the CIS Score. 

I visit many dozens of homes every month(just like you) and prepare a CIS Score for each one, not just the ones I list. I record the date, Zestimate, the bank estimate, the tax JMV AND the CIS Score projects the price at which the home will sell. Weeks or months down the road, when the home does sell,  I compare the outcome.


In my area of Florida, Zillow is yet to be within 25% of the sold price. You can look up the homes that have sold on Zillow and the value for  a home sold 2 months ago is still way off.

The bank estimates are respectable usually within 10% of sold price

CIS Score averages within 4% of sold price.

That is why I do it. My evidence is based on a year of historic data based on the actual SOLD price. 

In addition, this analysis will reveal appraisal challenges and the obstacles that willl interfere with various buyer types making a commitment. With this information the marketing strategy, incentives and strategic position of the property is known at the beginning.

As ZILLOW continues to grow as the ONLY public facing voice in real estate, this challenge needs to be met head on. I matters not that it's apples to oranges, the public does not understand the difference. 


Apr 11, 2015 11:43 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Of course the agent's CMA is more reliable as it is based on local information and it isn't automated.

Apr 11, 2015 12:51 PM
Spirit Messingham
Tierra Antigua Realty - Tucson, AZ
Third Generation Full-Time Realtor® 520 471-6900

I obtain a lot of business thru I am not "against" them.  However, I tell all clients they should be one free tool in the tool belt, not the only one.

Their listings are not accurate or up to date.   The "Zestimates" are about as accurate as a hand gernade where a CMA from a Realtor is more like a snipers rifle.  We should be looking in the same subdivision, etc.   I have noticed Zillow has changed their algorithm over the years and the "Zestimates" have improved but still, should not be the only thing a buyer uses.  I like to tell them for a free ballpark "Guestimate" it is ok, but that is about it.

Apr 12, 2015 12:23 AM
Holleay Parcker - Spinnaker Realty - Serving Clients From Corolla to Hatteras
With 14 Yrs Experience in Outer Banks Real Estate

Good morning Russ;

Zillow is SO limited in the data it can reflect.

For example, Zillow has no way to account for location - we all know that location matters!  Not just location within a neighborhood, but the lot itself.

I live at the beach on the Outer Banks of NC, and you better believe that lot location is a top priority here.  I educate my buyers that the house should sit on a lot that is at least as high in elevation as their neighbors, (if not higher) on all four sides...and that the house needs to be higher than the street, so that stormwater runoff moves away from the house instead of towards it.

I have my oceanside buyers look for homes that sit in front of a large, vegetated dune line, because of the protection the dune affords them during storm season.

I have my buyers pay attention to where the house is in relation to the elevation of the street.  It needs to be on or near the high point of the street, so again, water runs down the block and away from the house.

I inform my buyers that houses backing up to Hwy 12 will typically experience tremendous road noise during the season, which will diminish their quiet enjoyment of the property, and that the value of these lots will take a hit because of it.

So, if Zillow can't take into account (and it can't) the factors that make a lot more (or less) valuable here, then the Zestimates are of no real use.

And that's just one parameter!  What about the condition of the property?  Zillow can't reflect information on recent upgrades that increase the value of the home any more than it can reflect a property that has been ignored by the sellers, which has  accumulated so much in deferred maintenance as to severely negatively affect the value of the home.


I call it what it is - a shot in the dark blindfolded Guesstimate.




Apr 11, 2015 11:45 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

You are talking apples and oranges. A zestimate is an AVM model which also MLS providers are doing. All the Zestimate is, is the equivalent of a WalMart greeter that invites you to shop but you still need merchan dise that has value to buy. This is what a CMA is and it is closer, but ultimately value is determined by buyer and seller agreement backed by an appraisal.

Apr 11, 2015 11:29 PM
Rob D. Shepherd
RETIRED - Florence, OR

I am glad your Seller is asking! The public spends alot of time telling me the Zillow Gods are right and me as a guy in the trenches knows nothing. Besides if its on the internet it must be true! LOL

Apr 11, 2015 11:18 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Russ! You need to ask? It should be a cma by an agent, but let's also not forget there are agents out there who do a terrible job at it and/or are trying to "buy" the business with an overly optimistic value. So may be then Zillow is more reliable. In general, I have found that when Zillow's number is reasonably correct, it's serendipity more than anything.

Apr 11, 2015 10:35 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 I have heard from several that the Zestimates  provided by Zillow are way off.

Apr 11, 2015 07:44 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

It sure isn't Zillow.  They don't know local markets!

Apr 11, 2015 02:43 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Burlington, MA
Metro Boston Homes For Sale

Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239 - now if a Realtor(r) answers this and says it's Zillow - you know what I am going to do....

Apr 11, 2015 02:16 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

CMA, provided it's supplied by a knowledgeable Realtor.

Sep 22, 2018 08:30 AM
Ajay Pandya
e-Merge Real Estate Unlimited - Columbus, OH
Realtor Ajay Pandya

Of course, it is CMA!

Apr 14, 2018 10:47 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Coldwell Banker Realty

Door #2

Sep 09, 2017 04:49 AM
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Russ, there is no comparison between the two as the CMA takes into account the condition of the property and amenities offered.  The more experienced agent who has actually been in the comparables the better the result.

Apr 16, 2015 01:27 AM
Lana Kosik
Oregon First - Portland, OR

A CMA is best because 1) we know local markets 2) we deal in solds comps 3) we can actually go into our markets' homes 4) we are not an algorrithm:)

Apr 12, 2015 05:20 AM
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

Is this a trick question?

I've had sellers quote the z-mate and I've been able to show them how/why my CMA is more accurate.

Apr 12, 2015 05:14 AM
Fred Cope
Reliant Realty in Nashville, TN - Nashville, TN
Looking For Homes With A Smile


For me, Zillow is spelled ZERO.   So many things that effect value are absent from a Zestimate.  At least they incorporate the word "estimate" into their description.  If I personally plan to purchase a property, I will pay for an appraiser based on a resume and reputation rather than some computerized presentation of numbers.  I guess that means, I recommend a CMA over Zestimate, but I do not reach for my wallet until I have reviewed both the CMA and the Residential Property Appraisal.  My problem with the CMA is related to the experience level of the one who prepared it.  The advantage is that I can review such; but I am not an appraiser: I have had a couple of appraisal courses, reviewed hundreds of appraisals with underwriters, processors and appraisers, but NEVER spent a thousand hours preparing appraisal that then had to be reviewed and signed off on by a senior appraiser.  Most folks have no idea of what is required to wear the name appraiser.

Apr 12, 2015 03:52 AM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Zillow is so inaccurate that their price estimates are essentially worthless.

Apr 12, 2015 01:09 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

CMA by a Real Estate Professional.  We know what has closed and what has not.

Apr 11, 2015 02:51 PM
Trisha P Realty Group
Realty Executives - Leavenworth, KS
"Holding the Keys to Your Dream Home"

CMA of course!

Apr 11, 2015 01:01 PM