Should you care about your Zestimate?

If you’re thinking of selling your home in Northern Virginia, you want to know the value of your home.  But there are other times when it’s valuable to know what your home is worth.

So, is it worth relying on your Zestimate when it comes to knowing what your home is worth?

In 2006, Zillow started collecting data from public records to create their real estate website. Their statement regarding Zestimates is as follows: To calculate a Zestimate, Zillow uses a sophisticated and proprietary algorithm that incorporates data from county and tax assessor records and direct feeds from hundreds of multiple listing services and brokerage.”

The margin of error with Zestimates was 8%. If you owned a home worth over $500,000, the margin of error could be as much as $40,000.  At 1M, that margin was a swing of 80K. 

Last year, Zillow overhauled its Zestimate tool by having data teams throughout the world compete to improve their Zestimate system.  Zillow added AI and computer vision tools to review online data information to more accurately calculate Zestimates.  Their new claim is their Zestimates will now be within 2% of fair market value.

While 2% is a much closer range it’s still a computer calculation.  The calculation is only as good as the data received and there are still gaps as:

• not all listings have photos

• unfavorable photos about the property typically aren’t included

• tax assessment values are not an accurate measurement of home values – in Northern Virginia, most tax assessments are lower in value, and there is not a direct correlation with the home’s value.

Should you care if your Zestimate is accurate or not?  If the CEO of Zillow sold his house in 2016 for 40% less than his Zestimate it shouldn’t matter what your Zestimate is when it comes to selling your home in Northern Virginia.

More important is knowing how to get an accurate assessment of your home’s worth and how to use it.

Any realtor (and hopefully it will be me) can provide you with a market analysis of your home. And it’s FREE! (make this a link to a sign up) I assess the value with more than just the neighborhood comparables. And I have ways to work around the limitations of what Zillow isn’t able to readily gather. The details of my report take into account the factors which can affect a home’s value.  The information provide then can be used if you’d like to do any of the following:

• consider selling your home

• get rid of the PMI you’re paying (private mortgage insurance

• do some remodeling of your home

  • get a home equity loan to help pay for the remodeling projects.

All of these options are reasons to know what your home is worth.

If you’re interested in knowing what your home is worth for ANY reason, not just the ones listed above, please click here. I’ll follow up with you and prepare your analysis.  Additionally, if you want to discuss your remodeling project with me to know if your plans are a good return on your investment, I’m happy to do so.



Hi, there!

I'm Nancy and I love helping homeowners who have outgrown their current home and are ready to buy a new home but don’t know where to start. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true. 

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Arlington, VA 22203

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