Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I rely on some Internet company to calculate the sales price of my home in Prince William County?

Zillow is a billion-dollar Internet marketer that provides computerized estimates which claim to figure the market value of every property in the United States. Zillow tries to reach this goal this task by using a complicated logarithm that compares factors which affect property values, but here's a typical 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 search the web for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll discover countless testimonials by angry property owners and leery home shoppers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Prince William County report that Zillow's estimates 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 market value. If the margin of error is an impressive 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. Home sellers and real estate buyers should know that there is not a single community in Prince William County where either a mortgage lender or tax collector uses Zillow for tax assessment or appraisals. Our professional advice is to take estimates from any computer at arm’s length. Putting too much reliance into a computer can cause a great deal of confusion.

Connect with Nesbitt Realty today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's market value. We promise that a computer won't set the market value. Instead, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty Realtor will take into account the complicated 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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