Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I rely on some Internet company to appraise the sales price of my real estate in Falls Church?

Zillow is a billion-dollar website that provides automated estimates that purport to calculate the market value of each and every residence in the United States. Zillow tries to achieve this this task by using a fancy logarithm that crossreferences 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 research the web for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll discover countless testimonials by angry homeowners and skeptical property shoppers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Falls Church say that Zillow's valuations 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 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. Real estate sellers and property purchasers should understand that there is not a single community in Falls Church where either a mortgage lender or tax collector uses Internet for tax assessment or appraisals. Our expert advice is to take "valuations" from any online site with a grain of salt. Putting too much reliance into a computer can cause a lot of confusion.

Connect with Nesbitt Realty today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's value. We promise that a computer won't set the ideal price. Instead, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty expert will measure the many variables which make up your real estate's market value.

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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