Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I trust some Internet company to calculate the market value of my property in Frederick County?

Zillow is a popular website that provides automated estimates which claim to figure the value of each and every residence in the United States. Zillow tries to accomplish this feat by using a complicated program which compares factors which impact home values, but here's a 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 Google the Internet for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll discover many testimonials by angry homeowners and leery home shoppers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Frederick County report 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 ideal price. If the margin of error is an astounding 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 real estate shoppers should understand that there is not a single community in Frederick County where either a bank or tax collector uses Zillow for tax assessment or appraisals. Our professional advice is to take "valuations" from any website at arm’s length. Putting too much trust into a computer logarithm can cause a lot of confusion.

Call us today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's market value. We promise that a computer won't set the sales value. Rather, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty expert will account for the many variables which make up your property's value.

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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