Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I depend on some Internet company to calculate the market value of my real estate in Rappahannock County?

Zillow is a popular website that provides computerized estimates that claim to figure the value of every residence in the United States. Zillow tries to reach this goal this task by using a complicated algorithm that crossreferences 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 research the web for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll find countless posts by angry homeowners and skeptical home purchasers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Rappahannock County say 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 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 still remains popular with some buyers and sellers. Real estate sellers and home buyers should know that there is not a single community in Rappahannock County where either a bank 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 trust into a website can cause a great deal of disappointment.

Connect with one of our local experts today for a free comparative market analysis of your property's value. We promise that a website won't set the sales value. Rather, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty Realtor 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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