Can I depend on a computer to figure out the value of my home in Fairfax?
Zillow is a popular website that provides automated estimates which claim to figure the ideal price of each property in the United States. Zillow tries to accomplish this feat by using a sophisticated program that crossreferences factors which affect home values, but here's a typical 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 complaints by upset homeowners and skeptical home buyers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Fairfax say 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 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 (for now) remains popular with some people. Property owners and home buyers should understand that there is not a single community in Fairfax where either a bank or tax collector uses Internet for tax assessment or appraisals. Our professional advice is to take estimates from any website at arm’s length. Putting too much trust into a website can cause a great deal of irration.
Reach out to Nesbitt Realty 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 real estate's market value.
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