You can trust a Zestimate to give you an accurate home value, right? Wrong. Here are the facts.

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According to the National Association of Realtors, 92% of home buyers use the internet when searching for a home – and many of them use Zillow. You search for a home to buy or the value of your home and receive what is called a Zestimate. Zillow wants you to believe that their Zestimate is the real value for your home.

Can you trust a Zestimate? No, you can’t. Zillow allows the public to input the data which many times, is completely inaccurate. The Zestimate is based on user-submitted data. In fact, and I’m quoting directly from the Zillow site….

“The Zestimate is calculated from public and user-submitted data, taking into account special features, location, and market conditions. We encourage buyers, sellers, and homeowners to supplement Zillow’s information by doing other research such as:

• Getting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent - free • Getting an appraisal from a professional appraiser $400-$600 • Visiting the house (whenever possible) using a real estate agent –free”

All of which require the knowledge and experience from a local real estate professional.

What I am going to tell you now, does happen, and happens often….

Some people planning on selling their home (and you know people check Zillow), go to Zillow and add some home improvements to their property to increase the “value” of their home. There are some unprofessional agents out there who actually help people increase their Zestimates, or value of their home, to make it seem like their home is worth more than it is. In short, Zestimates can be adjusted and influenced.

Zillow goes on to say they have never been to your house; that Zestimate has no idea how your home stacks up against others in the area, so consult a Realtor.

So, how accurate are Zestimates in San Diego County? Zillow admits the Zestimates in San Diego County are off by 10% or more, which means if your house is worth $600,000, the Zestimate can be $60,000 too high or $60,000 to low–and that is a lot.

Zillow is kind of like WebMD; if you are curious about a health condition, then you can look up some data on WebMD. If you are seriously concerned about your health, you will go to the doctor. You won’t trust your health to information from WebMD. Why trust the value of your house to some website?

Let me bottom line this for you – If would like a truly accurate market price valuation of your home, based on facts, contact a full time real estate professional. In fact, I invite you to look up your Zestimate and send it to me. I will then compare your property to recently sold homes in your area and we’ll see how accurate Zillow actually is.

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