Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I depend on a computer to calculate the market value of my real estate in Manassas Park?

Zillow is a popular Internet marketer that "gives" automated estimates which purport to calculate the ideal price of each and every residence in the United States. Zillow tries to accomplish this task by using a sophisticated program that compares factors which impact property 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 Google the web for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll find countless complaints by angry property owners and leery real estate purchasers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Manassas Park say 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 improbable 5% that means that a z-estimate is only within $25,000 of the asking price.

Yet Zillow (for now) remains popular with some real estate shoppers. Property owners and home shoppers should understand that there is not a single neighborhood in Manassas Park where either a mortgage lender or tax collector uses Zillow for tax assessment or appraisals. Our professional advice is to take estimates from any online site with a grain of salt. Putting too much trust into a computer can cause a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

Email one of our agents today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's worth. We promise that a website won't set the market value. Rather, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty real estate agent will take into account the complicated variables which make up your home's ideal price.

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7 Reasons Why Zillow Estimates Are Inaccurate

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