Can I trust Zillow estimates?

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

Zillow is a billion-dollar Internet marketer that "gives" computerized estimates which purport to figure the value of every property in the United States. Zillow tries to accomplish this feat by using a sophisticated algorithm that crossreferences factors which impact 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 search the Internet for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll discover countless posts by angry homeowners and skeptical real estate buyers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Northern Virginia say that Zillow's valuations 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 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. Property owners and property shoppers should understand that there is not a single neighborhood in Northern Virginia where either a bank or tax collector uses Internet for tax assessment or appraisals. Our professional advice is to take "valuations" from any computer at arm’s length. Putting too much reliance into a website can cause a great deal of disappointment.

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

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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