Can I rely on Zillow to calculate the sales price of my real estate in Warren County?
Zillow is a popular Internet marketer that provides "z-estimates" which purport to figure the value of every residence in the United States. Zillow tries to accomplish this feat by using a fancy logarithm that compares factors which affect home values, but here's a typical story I have heard from real estate sellers in Northern Virginia:
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 Internet for the phrase "Can I trust Zillow?" or "Can I trust Z-Estimates" you'll discover countless complaints 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 Warren County claim 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 sales value. 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 (for now) remains popular with some people. Home sellers and property purchasers should understand that there is not a single community in Warren County where either a mortgage lender or tax collector uses Internet for tax assessment or appraisals. Our expert advice is to take estimates from any computer at arm’s length. Putting too much reliance into a computer logarithm can cause a lot of confusion.
Contact 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. Rather, your friendly neighborhood Nesbitt Realty real estate agent will take into account the many variables which make up your home's sales value.
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