Are "Zillow's" Rent Estimates Inflated or Padded?!?!

6 Replies

Question: Are you finding when you check the rental estimate on "Zillow" that they are over the actual estimate? Whether checking, California, Indiana, Kentucky, or anywhere, USA, are you seeming to find the estimate "Off"? I have found out about actual rents from "Boots on the Ground" and it seems more often than not, the rents are estimated as higher. Sometimes way higher.

Not good when doing a property analysis and it is critical to get an "Actual" rent value.

Have you found this? What are your thoughts?

Thank you in advance!

Daniel F. Harb

Originally posted by @Daniel F. Harb :

Question: Are you finding when you check the rental estimate on "Zillow" that they are over the actual estimate? Whether checking, California, Indiana, Kentucky, or anywhere, USA, are you seeming to find the estimate "Off"? I have found out about actual rents from "Boots on the Ground" and it seems more often than not, the rents are estimated as higher. Sometimes way higher.

Not good when doing a property analysis and it is critical to get an "Actual" rent value.

Have you found this? What are your thoughts?

Thank you in advance!

Daniel F. Harb

 Zillow is always off and I would never use it to determine rents.  A vintage 800 sq foot 2 bedroom vs a new rehabbed 1500 sq foot 2 bedroom are going to get very different rents and zilow can't tell the difference 

I think because zillow seems to be taking an aggregate of "nearby" listings, it could skew either higher or lower. For example, if you live in an area where there are many fancy condo buildings, rent estimates might seem higher for your two-family in comparison. For my rental, the estimates are lower but I know just based on the condition of my unit, it should be higher-- and of course, I do indeed get higher rents-- by 2X!

Hi @Brie Schmidt ! Thank you so much for your input. I didn't think I should put too much weight in "Z".

Thank you, @Von S. That makes perfect sense. Some neighborhoods I know can be completely different 2 blocks one way as opposed to the other. 

Thank you both and Happy 2018!

Happy 2018 as well!

I don’t like using Zillow for rent estimates.
Although the best is to have real market knowledge through experience, some other methods I have found useful are
Rentometer.com (although sometimes they seem on the low side)
And Craigslist ads for comp rentals.

Great advice ,@Mala S. , thank you. I love "Rentometer", but I have to check it again, I think last time I used it, it said my free quotes were used up. Ha! 

Best to you!

Daniel F. Harb

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