Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I trust some Internet company to calculate the market value of my real estate in Chain Bridge Forest?

Zillow is a popular Internet marketer that "gives" computerized estimates that purport to calculate the value of every property in the United States. Zillow tries to accomplish this task by using a fancy algorithm that compares factors which affect 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 search the Internet for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll discover many testimonials by angry property owners and skeptical property purchasers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Chain Bridge Forest say that Zillow's estimates 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 market value. 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 buyers and sellers. Real estate sellers and property shoppers should understand that there is not a single community in Chain Bridge Forest where either a mortgage lender or tax collector uses Internet for tax assessment or appraisals. Our professional advice is to take "valuations" from any website at arm’s length. Putting too much reliance into a computer can cause a lot of disappointment.

Contact Nesbitt Realty today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's value. We promise that a computer won't set the sales value. Rather, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty real estate pro will measure the many variables which make up your real estate's value.

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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