Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I depend on Zillow to calculate the market value of my property in Northern Virginia?

Zillow is a billion-dollar website that "gives" computerized estimates which claim to calculate the sales value of every home in the United States. Zillow tries to accomplish this feat by using a fancy logarithm which crossreferences factors which affect real estate 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 Internet for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll find many posts by angry homeowners and leery real estate buyers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Northern Virginia report that Zillow's estimates have a margin of error of around 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 impressive 5% that means that a z-estimate is only within $25,000 of the asking price.

Yet Zillow (for now) remains popular with some people. Property owners and real estate buyers should know 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 at arm’s length. Putting too much reliance into a website can cause a great deal of irration.

Talk to us today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's market value. We promise that a computer won't set the value. Rather, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty expert will take into account 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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