Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I trust Zillow to calculate the market value of my home in Arlington?

Zillow is a popular website that provides computerized estimates that claim to calculate the value of each property in the United States. Zillow tries to reach this goal this task by using a fancy program which compares factors which alter 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 research the web for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll discover countless complaints by angry property owners and leery property buyers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Arlington report that Zillow's estimates 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 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 people. Real estate sellers and property purchasers should understand that there is not a single community in Arlington where either a bank or tax collector uses Zillow for tax assessment or appraisals. Our professional advice is to take "valuations" from any online site with a grain of salt. Putting too much stock into a website can cause a great deal of confusion.

Get in touch with one of our agents today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's worth. We promise that a computer won't set the ideal price. Rather, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty real estate agent will account for the complicated variables which make up your home's value.

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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