Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I depend on some Internet company to appraise the sales price of my home in Belle Rive?

Zillow is a popular website that provides computerized estimates which purport to figure the market value of each property in the United States. Zillow tries to reach this goal this task by using a fancy algorithm that compares factors which affect home 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 web for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll find countless posts by angry homeowners and skeptical property purchasers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Belle Rive 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 ideal price. If the margin of error is an astounding 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. Real estate sellers and home buyers should understand that there is not a single neighborhood in Belle Rive where either a bank 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 reliance into a computer can cause a great deal of disappointment.

Contact one of our local experts today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's value. We promise that a computer won't set the value. Instead, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty expert will measure the complicated variables which make up your real estate's sales value.

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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