Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I rely on a computer to appraise the market value of my real estate in Northern Virginia?

Zillow is a billion-dollar website that "gives" computerized estimates which purport to figure the sales value of each property in the United States. Zillow tries to reach this goal this feat by using a sophisticated program which compares factors which impact real estate values, but here's a story I have heard from home 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 search the Internet for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll discover countless posts by angry property owners and skeptical home 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 (for now) remains popular with some buyers and sellers. Home sellers and home buyers should understand that there is not a single neighborhood in Northern Virginia where either a mortgage lender or tax collector uses Internet for tax assessment or appraisals. Our expert advice is to take estimates from any website with a grain of salt. Putting too much stock into a computer logarithm can cause a great deal of irration.

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

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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