Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I trust Zillow to figure out the value of my property in Northern Virginia?

Zillow is a popular Internet marketer that "gives" "z-estimates" that claim to figure the value of every property in the United States. Zillow tries to accomplish this feat by using a complicated program that compares factors which alter home values, but here's a typical story I have heard from real estate 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 research the web for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll discover countless posts by angry property owners and leery property buyers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Northern Virginia report that Zillow's valuations have a margin of error of approximately 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 market value. If the margin of error is an unlikley 5% that means that a z-estimate is only within $25,000 of the asking price.

Yet Zillow still remains popular with some real estate shoppers. Home sellers and home shoppers should know that there is not a single community in Northern Virginia where either a bank or tax collector uses Internet for tax assessment or appraisals. Our professional advice is to take estimates from any website with a grain of salt. Putting too much reliance into a website can cause a lot of confusion.

Call one of our agents today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's market value. We promise that a website won't set the market value. Instead, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty Realtor will account for the many variables which make up your real estate's ideal price.

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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