Can I trust Zillow to figure out the market value of my real estate in Ballston?
Zillow is a popular website that provides computerized estimates which claim to figure the value 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 property 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 posts by upset homeowners and skeptical real estate shoppers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Ballston claim that Zillow's valuations have a margin of error of around 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 improbable 5% that means that a z-estimate is only within $25,000 of the asking price.
Yet Zillow (for now) remains popular with some real estate shoppers. Property owners and real estate buyers should know that there is not a single community in Ballston where either a mortgage lender or tax collector uses Internet for tax assessment or appraisals. Our expert advice is to take "valuations" from any computer at arm’s length. Putting too much stock into a website can cause a great deal of confusion.
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 market value. Rather, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty Realtor will measure the complicated variables which make up your property's market value.
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