7warrenpl769This Montclair house, 7 Warren Place, (left) is on the market for $769,000. For its reval worth, you can find it here, on the Appraisal Systems site, in Neighborhood 7, for $740,000. Or you could take Zillow’s zestimate above, which predicts a sale price of about $639,014.

So who do you believe? Realtor, appraiser or Zillow. Let’s watch this one and see what it ultimately sells for. Tell us how your home stacks up.

Meanwhile, here’s a much larger price discrepancy…


This is 429 Orange Road.  It’s on the market for $1,300,000. Below, Zillow zestimates a much lower sale price.


Then there’s the reval — it comes in at…


Taxes are listed as $13,400, but the property, circa 1852, is on .95 acre. Hmmm…

28 replies on “Your House’s Worth, Three Ways”

  1. Zillow’s estimator formula uses past sales of the home (if relevent data exists), plus sales data of comparable homes in the neighborhood (if relevent data exists). It is not meant to replace a human appraiser that will come in and do an inspection and form a custom value specific to the home and timing of the marketplace.
    Zillow is better suited to more stable markets in other sections of the country, not NJ. At the very least, its good for identifying exact addresses for homes you’d like to buy …

  2. Has anyone noticed that Appraisal Systems hasn’t posted all of Montclair neighborhoods, even though they say it’s been completed. If you look at the map on their website, the neighborhoods that are in the 200’s aren’t posted. Interesting that these are the estate homes.

  3. Many of the owners in the 200 neighborhoods have received their new appraisals eventhough they are not yet posted on the ASI web site.
    P.S. I would not be surprised if the first anon post above was written by an ASI person.

  4. That is because we just received our assessments on Saturday. My house was looked at on the very last day, so I am not surprised it is taking a little longer. I predict that by the end of the week all will be up.
    There is no conspiracy.

  5. I’m unsure as to the accuracy of Zillow’s “zestimates”… I rent an apartment in a 3 family house on Grove St. that they value at $697k, which is most certainly overvalued (I’d guess more like $450, tops). And when you click on comparables, none of the prices have even come close to that mark – the highest was mid 5’s, with many of them well below that. How is that comparable? I have to question Zillow’s methods for coming up with those numbers…

  6. You don’t have to be an appraiser or assessor to agree with the first poster on this topic, you just have to be professionally involved with real estate sales to know it’s true. It’s great fun to use all these online sites with their charts and graphs and aerial spy photos, but as only a few use multiple listing sales data which is entered as homes actually close, they’re behind the curve. And as most of our towns can swing quickly depending on the # of buyers in the market, home prices pre-close are important to know too.

  7. My guess is Zillow is using recent sales and then some sort of comparative to the tax assessments on file to come up with their zestimate. My next door neighbor’s home is way bigger than mine, but I have a slightly higher tax assessment. My zestimate is $554k and theirs in $545k. I would buy their home for the Zestimate price in a minute – they are listing their house for $799k, so these zestimates have no connection to reality.

  8. Simply put, Zillow.com is software without a clue. The Zestimates are a ballpark computer guess, based on the data provided — it knows nothing about location or neighborhood. Up until a couple of weeks ago, they only provided the assessed value for Essex County homes with a notation that they didn’t have sufficient county data to provide a Zestimate.

  9. re. 429 Orange, I’d say zillow and the reval are pretty close- a little bit low, but not much. The listing agent is from another town which may be why it’s way off base.

  10. Well, zillow.com’s “Zestimate” is very close to the assessment that just arrived this past Saturday for my home in the “200” area.
    There seems to be so much interest in the “200” zone. Why is that? I’ve always felt that I’ve been paying the highest taxes but have the least “right” to complain about anything in this town. The minute we do, we get jumped on for owning a (somewhat larger) house in a desireable neighborhood. It’s crazy. Anyway, it still seems like there are plenty of zones that still need to be published on the website.
    The word I’m hearing, also, is that so many homeowners in town are in an uproar that there will be legal wrangling for years to come. Any comments?

  11. It would be nice if ASI learned to use a tape measure. I guess a 20% mismeasurement of GLA not in my favor could be made by anyone.

  12. ASI uses exterior not interior GLA measurements for their calculations. Would that account for your 20 per cent?

  13. Well my ASI appraisal just came in at 640k. I will gladly sell my humble (think avocado and black 1950’s bathroom) home tomorrow to anyone willing to pay me my appraisal price.

  14. assessed at 640k means you will be paying annual tax of about $12,000, small price for benefits of living in Montclair. How many children do you have in the school system?? Do you use New York direct train? Do you enjoy educated and cultivated neighbors?

  15. Anon – I have no children in the local school system and I would not assume that I enjoy educated and cultivated neighbors based on the majority of posts you can read on this site.
    I live in a modest two family home that I will never be able to sell for 640k. There is no way that the rent roll in my house (if both units were rented out) would cover a purchase price of 640K plus the steep property taxes that Montclair leverages against it’s residents.
    As a result, the selling value of my home will be quite diminished.
    I am also very worried about many of my neighbors. Many of them are senior citizens who are now looking at annual tax bills that are more than half their original purchase price of their homes. There is only so much of this property tax increase that the rental market will allow them to pass along to their tenants. I fear that some of them will be forced to sell. We’ll see if they get the 700k+ price that ASI has valued their homes at.

  16. Overtaxed,
    Your plea is eloquent and justified. But you probably are part of the 80 per cent in Montclair who voted for Jon Corzine, thereby helping to keep the tax collar around our necks.

  17. While I do regret my vote for Jon Corzine, I place more of the blame for the current tax situation at the feet of Christie Whitman, who with her sham income tax cut of 30% elminated a lot of funds available for municipal aid.
    And if Legislative districts weren’t so gerrymandered to protect incumbents, perhaps the Democrats would pay a price at the polls for screwing up property tax “reform”. But sadly we will probably just be stuck with the sad lot of current legislators for quite some time.

  18. Just letting everyone know that the 200 neighborhood has been posted on the ASI website as of yesterday (Tuesday 2/6) afternoon.

  19. Overtaxed,
    “funds available for municipal aid” do not materialize from heaven. They are derived by taxes. It is the height of stupidity to believe that it is good government to have the money taken out of one pocket and then PART of it returned to your other pocket. Look what Corzine and his crowd are doing – they have raised sales tax and are going to sell or lease some of our public property so they can give some of it back to us. Absolutely crazy. Doesn’t anyone have the balls to reduce wasteful unnecessary spending?????

  20. Anon – I am all in favor of cutting wasteful spending, which is why I am disgusted that the Democratic led Assembly and Senate killed or watered down any of the meaningful reform proposals being debated. I am all for consolidation of services, ending dual office holding, pension padding, renegotiating public worker benefits, etc.
    My point regarding the income tax is that the income tax cut that most of us received was much smaller than the spike in property taxes that was a direct result of less state funds available for municipal aid.
    The income tax is a much more progressive and fair way to fund schools. Reliance on property taxes for this is way too regressive.

  21. I also took exterior measurements. ASI was only off by 10 ‘. Not to mention the other 6 or so mistakes they made on my tax card.

  22. Zillow: Home prices’s continue to drop and Zillow is reflecting it. Another drop of 20-30% expected by the mid year. Sorry folks but higher taxes’s are reducing your property values as well.

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