There are home buyers and there are home browsers. Oftentimes, there are people who are both buyers and browsers but when it comes to Zillow, the popular home listing and home value site, the browsers are obvious.
In a recent CivicScience study, 35% of U.S. adults surveyed said they use Zillow just for fun – these are people who browse the site to see what’s on the market, how big the yards are in other neighborhoods, who is trying to sell a dump for more than it’s worth, and so forth. The people who use Zillow for fun as well as for real equals 12% of the population. Just under 12% say they use the site only when legitimately planning to buy or sell a property. Forty-two percent of Americans don’t use Zillow at all.
Zillow’s history is one of ups and downs. There is no getting by the fact that it is a popular site attracting more than half of adults living in America. In fact, previous survey results found that Zillow was the most preferred online search engine to use for both homes and rentals. On the other hand, not everyone who uses the site trusts it. Among people who use or have used Zillow, 19% are legitimate buyers or sellers. But, among people who use Zillow regardless of the reason, only 11% trust the accuracy of its famed Zestimate tool. Zillow doesn’t say its home value estimating tool can or should replace a professional appraiser, but a small percentage of the population do believe the Zestimate is law.
Twenty-one percent of current homeowners say they use or have used Zillow when buying or selling a home. People still living with mom and dad are the most likely to browse Zillow for fun and with the intent of starting a real estate transaction.
Gen Z is not only the predominant user of Zillow but also the most likely to hop on Zillow for two purposes. The older someone is, the more likely they are to use Zillow for casual browsing.
People who follow home improvement and design trends are the most serious Zillow users and the most trusting users of the Zestimate tool’s accuracy in predicting home values.
Zillow’s far-reaching inventory and database of property information are widely used across America, even if just to satisfy an interest in real estate. Young people use Zillow the most in general but they also use the site for both casual browsing and actual home searching. Trust in the Zestimate tool is shaky but that doesn’t stop people from looking for homes to buy and homes to enjoy just looking at.