In today’s blog post I’m going to talk about the limitations of the online home search site Zillow. The following reasons are why you are better off hiring a Boston real estate agent than using a computer for your real estate needs:

  • Only utilizes past information: Zillow often uses outdated data to provide estimations of Boston condo home values. It plugs taxes records, square footage, zip codes, and what properties have sold for into an algorithm that gives a “Zestimate.” The problem is all the information that isn’t utilized – an agent has the ability to look at current inventory levels, absorption rates, and other metrics that are highlight primary for determining home value. Additionally, agents have the ability to observe current trends and formulate a general idea of what the future may hold.
  • Doesn’t give a personalized estimate: There are many other things the algorithm isn’t capable of accounting for. If your Boston condo has great views or numerous expensive upgrades, there is no way for Zillow to work that into its calculation. It doesn’t make sense that your updated Boston condo should have a similar estimate as your neighbor’s, who haven’t put any money into their condominium.
  • Inaccurate listing inventory: We’ve had many clients who were super excited about listings they found on Zillow – but, after they contact us and ask to see them, are disappointed to find that those homes sold months ago. This can be incredibly frustrating and can make the home search process a sour experience. The reason is that Zillow doesn’t get a direct feed from the MLS, the site that Realtors use. It scrapes information off the internet and populates the website with it; as homes enter or leave the market, Zillow doesn’t always keep up. In fact, it’s been estimated that up to 35% of its listings are inaccurate!

What we’re trying to get at is simple: Zillow is many times inaccurate. Whether you’re looking to buy a Boston condominium or see how much yours is worth, you should hire an agent. We are professionals that have an unmatched amount of experience finding and pricing homes. If you have any questions about real estate in your particular area, or would like accurate information about current San Diego market conditions, please give us a call.

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Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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