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 Internet marketer that "gives" automated estimates which claim to figure the value of each residence in the United States. Zillow tries to reach this goal this feat by using a fancy program which compares factors which alter real estate values, but here's a typical 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 Google the web for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll find countless 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 Arlington say that Zillow's valuations have a margin of error of about 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 buyers and sellers. Real estate sellers and home shoppers should know that there is not a single neighborhood 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 website with a grain of salt. Putting too much reliance into a computer can cause a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

Get in touch with one of our local experts today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's market value. We promise that a website won't set the sales value. Instead, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty Realtor will take into account the complicated variables which make up your property's value.

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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