Can I trust Zillow estimates?

Can I rely on some Internet company to figure out the market value of my real estate in Castleton?

Zillow is a billion-dollar website that "gives" computerized estimates which claim to calculate the sales value of each and every property in the United States. Zillow tries to achieve this this feat by using a sophisticated logarithm which 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 discover countless testimonials by upset property owners and skeptical home buyers who have discovered the hard way just out inaccurate Zillow's pricing can be. Many people in Castleton report 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 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 people. Property owners and home purchasers should understand that there is not a single neighborhood in Castleton 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 at arm’s length. Putting too much reliance into a computer can cause a lot of confusion.

Connect with 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 market value. Instead, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty real estate pro will account for the unique 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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