Shortly after our recent article on Zillow's
upgrades was published, we received a communication
from "Amy at Zillow" with a couple of corrections.
We were not particularly complimentary about Zillow and its new upgrades, but
two statements we made were incorrect. The first, that Zillow, when initially
reviewed in February, provided a grade for their confidence
in their own estimates (Zestimates) of value, but no longer did so is not true.
Zillow gives a county-by-county confidence level both visually - from one to
four stars - as well as a median error rate and an estimate of the percentage
of Zestimates falling within 10 percent of the selling price. However, as we
complained about much of the site, these ratings are not easy to find. Amy stated
that they linked off the home page and they did, but through links through two
additional levels and the second link is buried nine paragraphs into an explanation
of the what, why, and how of Zestimates.
We also stated that one feature we had enjoyed on our initial visits in February
allowed a visitor to add or subtract features
much as an appraiser does, to see the effects on the estimate of value. That
feature, we said, now appeared to be limited to homeowners who had proved ownership
of a property. This was also incorrect - the feature is called the "Estimator
but if one follows the instructions one is led into a loop which does appear
to limit the usage to proven homeowners. The correct instruction is to click
on "Create an Estimate" rather than "Owners' Tools" as specified on the site.
Once found, it is still fun to play around with.
We appreciate Amy's correspondence and apologize for our blunder but
would again suggest that Zillow concentrate on improving its navigation tools
and the clarity of its text before adding more functions to what is already
a confusing situation.