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Does Zillow accurately reflect rentals and rental prices?

Posted Jul 17 2019, 06:08

I'm just getting into the business of real estate investing and I'm just curious what your thoughts are on this topic. Are the rental prices on Zillow a good gauge of how I should price my rentals? Are the properties listed on Zillow properties that have yet to be successfully rented? Is there more out there to compare than what can be found on Zillow?

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Jorge Pereira
  • Kensington, MD
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Jorge Pereira
  • Kensington, MD
Replied Jul 18 2019, 15:43

@Andrew Powers definitely not

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Michael Vu
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Cincinnati, OH
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Michael Vu
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Cincinnati, OH
Replied Jul 18 2019, 16:07

One good way to determine rents is to call Craiglists listings or For Rent sign listings for similar houses and to try to negotiate a rental price pretending like you are trying to rent. Then you can see how low they are willing to go.

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Tara Sullivan
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Mesa, AZ
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Tara Sullivan
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Mesa, AZ
Replied Jul 18 2019, 16:16

@Andrew Powers use Zillow as a guideline but do your own research because it’s hit or miss sometimes their pretty close and others they are FAR off so use your best judgment.

Real Estate Agent New Jersey (#1866472)

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Mike S.
  • Investor
  • Colonial Heights, VA
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Mike S.
  • Investor
  • Colonial Heights, VA
Replied Jul 18 2019, 16:59

I feel the rental estimates are pretty accurate but the home values are no. Compare with rentometer.com

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Scott Marshall
  • Flipper/Rehabber
  • Bellevue, WA
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Scott Marshall
  • Flipper/Rehabber
  • Bellevue, WA
Replied Jul 19 2019, 08:39

@Andrew Powers I would recommend taking any automated valuation or rent estimate with a grain of salt. However, I use them to track the trend lines and in my first pass analysis (though even then I look at multiples and take an average after excluding outliers). I would never put money on the line betting on the algorithm.

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Replied Jul 19 2019, 12:04

@Andrew Powers

For more accurate data check the property currently listed for rental in specific zip code you are buying.

Check how long is it in the market?

That sometime give good indication of price point.

I usually see all that and more and put $25 to $50 dollar less on that price to be safe when run my number.

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Dennis M.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Erie, pa
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Dennis M.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Erie, pa
Replied Jul 19 2019, 13:05

In my area the rental prices are pretty close but the home value is usually way off

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Haseeb M.
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Hoffman Estates, IL
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Haseeb M.
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Hoffman Estates, IL
Replied Jul 22 2019, 12:16

It can be a hit or a miss.

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff sold home for much less than Zestimate.

https://www.inman.com/2016/05/18/zillow-ceo-spencer-rascoff-sold-home-for-much-less-than-zestimate/

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Brian Snow
  • 43235
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Brian Snow
  • 43235
Replied Jul 22 2019, 12:24

I recently saw a post that said the “A” in Zillow is for Accuracy.

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Isaac S.
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Replied Jul 27 2019, 17:55
Originally posted by @Brian Snow:

I recently saw a post that said the “A” in Zillow is for Accuracy.

 I was about to say "there is no A in Zillow"....and at that moment I realized..... that I got the joke!