Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I rely on a computer to appraise the value of my property in Manassas Park?

Zillow is a billion-dollar Internet marketer that provides "z-estimates" that purport to calculate the market value of each and every property in the United States. Zillow tries to reach this goal this feat by using a fancy algorithm that crossreferences factors which impact real estate 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 research 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 property buyers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Manassas Park claim that Zillow's valuations 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 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 buyers and sellers. Real estate sellers and real estate shoppers should understand that there is not a single community in Manassas Park where either a mortgage lender or tax collector uses Internet for tax assessment or appraisals. Our expert advice is to take "valuations" from any website with a grain of salt. Putting too much trust into a website can cause a great deal of irration.

Phone one of our agents today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's market value. We promise that a website won't set the value. Instead, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty real estate pro will account for the unique variables which make up your real estate's value.

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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