Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I trust Zillow to appraise the market value of my property in Greenwood Farm?

Zillow is a popular website that provides automated estimates that claim to figure the market value of each and every property in the United States. Zillow tries to achieve this this feat by using a fancy program which crossreferences factors which affect property values, but here's a story I have heard from real estate 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 Internet for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll discover 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 Greenwood Farm report that Zillow's valuations have a margin of error of around 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 unlikley 5% that means that a z-estimate is only within $25,000 of the asking price.

Yet Zillow still remains popular with some real estate shoppers. Home sellers and home purchasers should understand that there is not a single community in Greenwood Farm where either a mortgage lender or tax collector uses Zillow 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 logarithm can cause a great deal of confusion.

Contact one of our local experts 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 Realtor 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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