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The Zestimate is now an initial cash offer for eligible homes in more than 20 cities nationwide, according to a press release from Zillow. Zestimate is the company's proprietary home value estimation tool and celebrates its 15th anniversary this month.
Pairing the Zestimate with Zillow Offers is the latest way the company is using technology to simplify and streamline real estate transactions from beginning to end. Zillow Offers customers can already use Zillow-affiliated mortgage, title and escrow services through Zillow Home Loans and Zillow Closing Services.
"For 15 years, homeowners and home shoppers have come to rely on the Zestimate as an essential first step," said Zillow chief operating officer Jeremy Wacksman. "This is a proud moment for Zillow's tech team and speaks to the advancements they've made in machine learning and AI technology. Presenting the Zestimate as a cash offer to qualifying homes upfront will save time, reduce friction and provide greater transparency."
Zillow Offers is the company's home-buying service through which customers can sell their home directly to Zillow. Selling to Zillow Offers also minimizes in-person interaction. The service aims to provide certainty about price and the convenience of selecting a closing date.
Today, the Zestimate is published for nearly 100 million homes with a nationwide median error rate for on-market homes of 1.9%. To determine the Zestimate, Zillow uses data from public records, feeds from multiple listing services and brokerages as well as artificial intelligence, including advanced technologies such as computer vision and a deep-learning neural network to incorporate data from photographs.
Over the last decade and a half, Zillow has released more than half a dozen updates to the Zestimate to improve its accuracy, speed, transparency and availability.
The initial offer equal to the Zestimate valuation is currently available on a limited subset of homes in markets where Zillow Offers operates. The company will continue expanding the number of eligible homes as Zillow Offers grows. This initial offer is before taxes and fees are factored in and is also subject to eligibility and accuracy of property information.
Markets with homes eligible for this program include: Phoenix, Tucson, Ariz., Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh, N.C., Miami, Jacksonville, Fla., Orlando, Fla., Tampa, Fla., Portland, Ore., Denver, Colorado Springs, Colo., Fort Collins, Colo., Nashville, Tenn., San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, Calif., Sacramento, Calif, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Minneapolis.