Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I trust a computer to appraise the sales price of my real estate in Arlington?

Zillow is a billion-dollar website that provides automated estimates which claim to figure the ideal price of each residence in the United States. Zillow tries to reach this goal this feat by using a complicated program which compares factors which alter real estate values, but here's a story I have heard from home 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 complaints by upset property owners and skeptical property purchasers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Arlington claim 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 impressive 5% that means that a z-estimate is only within $25,000 of the asking price.

Yet Zillow still remains popular with some buyers and sellers. Property owners and home purchasers should know that there is not a single neighborhood in Arlington where either a mortgage lender or tax collector uses Zillow for tax assessment or appraisals. Our expert advice is to take "valuations" from any online site at arm’s length. Putting too much reliance into a computer can cause a great deal of unnecessary anxiety.

Talk to one of our agents today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's value. We promise that a website won't set the sales value. Instead, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty expert will account for the many 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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