An Update on Debunking Zillow

Last year I created a page on my website about Zillow's misleading and unreliable data about Sarasota real estate.

As I wait for the football games to start, I thought it might be a good time to get updated information from my friends at Zillow, who love to misinform real estate buyers about price trends in our fair hamlet.

Zillow reported an 18% decline in real estate sales prices for Sarasota in 2011 versus 2010.  MLS data showed the median sales price was flat in 2011, the sign of a market that had hit bottom.

Zillow's data for 2012 is even more perplexing.  They reported the median sales price in 2011 was $130,000.  They now report a 2012 median sales price of $220,000, a whopping 74 % increase over 2011.

Wow.  I wish that was the truth.  Even so, 2012 was a nice recovery for our area, with MLS data showing the median sales price in Sarasota County was $155,000 versus $135,000 2011.

Can you really trust such wildly fluctuating data from Zillow?  This is precisely why banks and mortgage appraisers do not use Zillow "Zestimates" when valuing real estate.  This shows you need an experienced Realtor who works with buyers in several price points with their finger on the pulse of the local Sarasota real estate market.

To summarize:
2010 Median Sales Price:  Zillow  $153,600    Local MLS $135,000
2011 Median Sales Price:  Zillow  $130,000    Local MLS  $134,900
2012 Median Sales Price:  Zillow  $220,900   Local MLS $155,000


  1. That's why it's best to just ask directly from where you are going to purchase. I bought some property in Orlando last year and I bought it from I just directly contacted them and they provided me with their price listings and the person I had correspondence with was even so nice as to give me prices from other offers in the area, so that I could get an idea at what range I am looking.


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