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Selling Your House? Increase Your Zillow Zestimate First

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5 Steps to Update Your Zestimate | What Is a Zestimate? | How to Get the Most Accurate Home Value Estimate | FAQ

If you think your Zestimate isn’t accurate, you can update your home’s details on Zillow to try to get a higher estimate.

All home buyers hunt for houses online,[1] and Zillow is the most popular real estate website.[2] So it’s crucial to make sure information about your home is accurate on Zillow.

However, Zillow home value estimates aren’t the most accurate way to evaluate what your home is worth.

If you’re setting a list price, we recommend speaking with an experienced local real estate agent instead of using the Zestimate.

Most real estate agents offer a free comparative market analysis (CMA) that provides thorough research into comparable homes that have sold recently. This analysis can help you competitively price your home and maximize your profit.

👋 Connect with a top local realtor to get the most accurate home value estimate

Can You Update Your Zillow Zestimate?

If you’re unsatisfied with your Zillow Zestimate, you won’t be able to change it directly.

But you can influence your Zestimate by updating information about your home, fixing incorrect information, and adding rich details to make sure your home’s profile is complete.[3] In fact, Zillow’s Zestimate is the most “fixable” online home value estimator. It allows you to claim your home, then teach Zillow’s algorithm more about your property.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean your Zestimate will be completely accurate. It just means your Zillow home estimate will be more accurate than it was before.

Also, homeowners tend to overestimate the value of their homes by about 5% — a phenomenon called “seller bias.”[4] So even an updated Zestimate may not meet your expectations.

5 Steps for Updating Your Home on Zillow

Step 1: Claim Your Home on Zillow

Before you visit Zillow to search for and claim your home, you must create an account. The site will ask for your name and phone number to verify your identity.

If you already have an account, log in and navigate to your home’s property page. Click on the “More” drop-down tab to select “Verify your ownership.”

» MORE: How do I claim or unclaim ownership of my home?

Step 2: Update Your Home Facts on Zillow

Once Zillow verifies that you’re the owner, you can start to update your home’s facts. Log in and click on your profile icon, then select “Your Home” from the menu.

From there, you can give Zillow the most up-to-date information, including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, finished square feet, lot size, and HOA dues. You can also enter the year it was built and when you made structural remodels to the home.

You’ll also be able to enter a free response description of your home to help Zillow recognize any unique features that don’t neatly fit into the categories provided.

For example, you can input changes such as:

  • A recent remodel
  • Upgraded finishes such as nicer cabinets, flooring, or appliances
  • New landscaping
  • Added square footage, such as a bedroom addition or garage expansion
  • Added bathrooms
  • Zillow owner details

Once you make these changes on Zillow, continue to monitor Zillow until the next regular update. You may notice an updated Zestimate that reflects the new information.

One important note: You can only update these facts if your home isn’t currently for sale. If you’re actively selling, you’ll have to contact Zillow customer service to update your Zestimate.

Step 3: Check Off All Relevant Amenities

Your home’s amenities and features can boost Zillow’s Zestimate value. Once you’re logged in, check off any special features your home has, such as:

  • Brand name appliances (e.g., dishwasher, dryer, garbage disposal)
  • Finished, unfinished, or partially finished basement
  • Carpet, hardwood floors, tile, and other floor coverings
  • Unique rooms (e.g., breakfast nook, family room, laundry room, workshop)
  • Indoor features like being cable-ready or having ceiling fans, a fireplace or vaulted ceiling
  • Architectural style and exterior features of the home
  • Outdoor features (e.g., balcony, deck, fenced yard, pool)
  • Options like a carport, garage, or street parking

Zillow offers a wide variety of fields that make it easy to check off your home’s selling points:

You also have the option to upload photos and media, including a 3D home tour, to better showcase your home on Zillow.

Step 4: Review Your Home’s Tax History

Zillow uses tax records and recent sales prices to calculate the Zestimate — so if you made recent updates or renovations, your home’s tax assessment might not be accurate.

Contact your local tax assessor to let them know about home updates you’ve done. It could increase your tax assessment amount, which would then increase your Zestimate value.

5. Contact Customer Service

Your changes should be updated quickly and viewable on your home’s Zillow listing. You can typically see the updated Zestimate instantly, but since the process is fully automated, it’s possible to run into delays or other bugs.

When in doubt, it never hurts to reach out to Zillow’s Help Center. Connecting directly with a Zillow rep may speed up any pending updates or help you unblock any glitches that may slow down your Zestimate update.

What Is a Zestimate Home Value?

Zillow is the nation’s leading real estate marketplace, with 218.3 million monthly visitors from March 2022 to March 2023.[2] Its extensive archive of current and past home listings forms a powerful hub of real estate data, which Zillow uses to generate reports about local real estate markets, analyze the value of individual homes, and more.

The Zestimate is Zillow’s home valuation tool. To calculate your home’s Zestimate, Zillow compares your property to the more than 104 million homes in its database. Zillow also considers a variety of criteria, including public records, market trends, and information from comparable homes on the multiple listing services (MLS).

» MORE: 3 Popular Free Home Valuation Tools, Compared

Keep in mind: The Zestimate is an automated calculation, not an officially sanctioned evaluation. When you sell your home, the buyer’s lender will typically require an appraisal to confirm that the sale price is aligned with your home’s market value.

Furthermore, the Zestimate home value tool is flawed. In early 2021, Zillow began making cash offers on homes through its now-defunct Zillow Offers program based on its Zestimates.[5] The company ended up overpaying for houses, and Zillow Offers closed later that year.[6]

If you want to be as accurate as possible, don’t rely only on Zillow’s home value estimator. Instead, get a professional estimate.

How Accurate Are Zillow Home Value Estimates?

Compared to other companies such as Redfin, Zillow’s Zestimate tends to be slightly more accurate than other home value estimators.

According to Zillow, the Zestimate error rate is about 2% for on-market homes — which isn’t a significant discrepancy. But for off-market homes, the error rate jumps to nearly 7%.[7]

In the last three months of 2023, the average sale price of houses sold in the US was $492,300.[8] That means relying on the Zestimate alone could cost you $10,000–35,500.

In other words, Zestimates are good for a ballpark estimate — but the Zestimate should never be the only number you use to determine your home’s value.

» MORE: Redfin vs. Zillow: Which Estimator Should You Trust?

Zillow Zestimate Home Value vs. Competitive Market Analysis (CMA)

The best way to get a clear understanding of your home’s value is by getting a competitive market analysis (CMA) from a licensed real estate agent.

A CMA examines:

  • Recent sales of homes in your neighborhood
  • Your home’s features and finishes
  • The current local real estate market
  • Less tangible qualities, such as how unique your home is compared to others nearby

The goal is to find specific addresses of comparable homes that recently sold near you, then compare the data to your home to arrive at a sound value estimate. Real estate agents refer to this processing as “pulling the comps.”

💡 Expert Tip: If you’re creating a Zillow for sale by owner listing, make sure you’re armed with accurate comps! This will help ensure you don’t lose thousands by underpricing your home.

In contrast to this in-depth and nuanced research process, Zillow’s Zestimate depends on user-submitted data and information from public records. While this can produce a general estimate of your home’s value, Zestimates often miss crucial information that can’t be reliably automated.

Interested in getting a free CMA? Clever Real Estate can connect you to trusted real estate agents in your local market. An expert CMA will help you maximize your profit.

You can also save money on your sale through Clever. Its full-service agents charge just 1.5% in listing fees compared to the typical 3% — helping you save thousands without sacrificing quality.

🏡 Get a free CMA from a top local expert!

Clever Real Estate matches you with top-producing local agents who will provide a free comparative market analysis (CMA) as part of their listing proposal. This gives you the most accurate estimate of how much your home could sell for right now. Clever's service is 100% free, and there's no obligation to move forward with any of the agents you meet with.

FAQ about Zillow Zestimates

Can you increase your Zillow Zestimate?

If you believe Zillow’s Zestimate is undervaluing your home, the best solution is to claim and update your home’s profile on Zillow. The platform may not be up to date, and if it lacks important details such as recent upgrades, remodels, or additions, your Zestimate may be too low. Learn how strategic profile updates can increase your Zillow Zestimate.

How can I update my Zillow Zestimate?

Zillow Zestimates are automated, so you won’t be able to edit your Zestimate directly. But you can update detailed information about your home, such as amenities, square footage, or remodeling, which Zillow will take into account. Learn how to claim and update your Zillow profile.

How accurate is Zillow Zestimate?

The Zillow Zestimate has an error rate of 2% for on-market homes and about 7% for off-market homes. For perspective, for a $500,000 house — roughly the average price for a home in the US — relying on Zillow’s value of your home could cost you $10,000–35,000. Learn more about Zillow’s Zestimate and its accuracy issues.


[1] National Association of Realtors – "Highlights From the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers,". Updated 2023.
[3] Zillow – "Can the Zestimate® be updated?". Updated Nov. 2023.
[4] Journal of Housing Economics – "The reliability of self-reported home values in a developing country context". Pages 312. Updated Aug. 12, 2009.
[5] Zillow – "Zillow Starts Making Cash Offers For the Zestimate". Updated Feb. 25, 2021.
[7] Zillow – "What is a Zestimate?". Accessed Jan. 2024.
[8] Federal Reserve Economic Data – "Average Sales Price of Houses Sold for the United States". Updated Jan. 25, 2024.

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