Can I depend on a computer to figure out the sales price of my home in Northern Virginia?
Zillow is a billion-dollar website that provides "z-estimates" which claim to calculate the ideal price of each and every home in the United States. Zillow tries to accomplish this task by using a fancy program which crossreferences factors which affect home values, but here's a story I have heard from real estate sellers in Northern Virginia:
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 find many complaints by upset homeowners and leery property 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 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 sales 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 people. Real estate sellers and real estate purchasers 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 professional advice is to take "valuations" from any computer with a grain of salt. Putting too much reliance into a website can cause a lot of confusion.
Connect with one of our agents today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's worth. We promise that a website won't set the market value. Instead, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty expert will measure the many variables which make up your property's value.
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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate
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