Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I rely on Zillow to calculate the value of my home in Northern Virginia?

Zillow is a billion-dollar Internet marketer that "gives" automated estimates that claim to figure the value of each and every property in the United States. Zillow tries to accomplish this task by using a sophisticated algorithm that compares factors which impact home values, but here's a story I have heard from property sellers in Northern Virginia:

Is Zillow accurate?
Many consumers have serious doubts about the accuracy of Zillow home value estimates.

Our home was recently appraised for 650K. Zillow estimates the value at 521K. The estimate makes us one of the lowest priced homes in the subdivision. We have all upgrades in our home and it is the largest of the homes that were originally built in this subdivision. It was appraised at 750K before 2009. Our home has a basement. Neighbors do not have basement on one side and you appraised higher. Really? -- James E. - Fort Hunt

If you Google the web for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll find countless complaints by angry property owners and leery property purchasers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Northern Virginia claim that Zillow's valuations have a margin of error of about 20%. Even if we assume the margin of error is only 10%, in Northern Virginia that means a "z-estimate" is only within $50,000 of the actual ideal price. If the margin of error is an improbable 5% that means that a z-estimate is only within $25,000 of the asking price.

Yet Zillow still remains popular with some buyers and sellers. Home sellers and home buyers should know that there is not a single neighborhood in Northern Virginia where either a mortgage lender or tax collector uses Zillow for tax assessment or appraisals. Our professional advice is to take estimates from any online site with a grain of salt. Putting too much trust into a computer can cause a lot of confusion.

Get in touch with one of our agents today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's value. We promise that a computer won't set the market value. Instead, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty real estate pro will take into account the many variables which make up your home's sales value.

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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