Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I trust a computer to appraise the value of my home in Falls Church?

Zillow is a billion-dollar website that "gives" automated estimates that purport to figure the value of every residence in the United States. Zillow tries to accomplish this feat by using a sophisticated algorithm that crossreferences factors which affect 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 search the web for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll find many complaints by upset homeowners and leery real estate purchasers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Falls Church say that Zillow's estimates 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 ideal price. 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 real estate shoppers. Home sellers and home shoppers should know that there is not a single neighborhood in Falls Church where either a bank 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 reliance into a computer can cause a great deal of irration.

Call Nesbitt Realty today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's worth. We promise that a website won't set the ideal price. Rather, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty Realtor will take into account the unique variables which make up your home's ideal price.

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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