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Zillow can truly only provide an estimate. Zillow is a wonderful site to market your home and gain some exposure but the zestimate is not based upon your specific house information. It is rather a compilation and estimation from more of a global perspective. The best way to get a true value for your home is through an appraiser (which will cost around $400 or so) or from a market analysis done by a licensed real estate agent which is free. Real estate agents have access to recently sold homes in your area and can show you what homes are selling for today. Your home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay. Therefore, the objective is to get as many QUALIFIED buyers to your door as possible. The more buyers, the more potential offers... which increases your chances of getting your home sold. The point made by someone else on here is valid. The return on improvements today is not what it was several years ago. The value of your improvement can't be determined through Zillow. Here's a good article about the topic but it is not specific to NJ. However, it may help answer your question about rate of return. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,408045,00.htmlThe fact is, this will sound like a sales pitch but it's true. I've been in this industry my entire adult working life. Exposure will sell your home. Buyers today are navigating houses on their cell phones and are using multiple web sites. A good real estate agent will market your home to perhaps 23 different websites, advertise it, send out notices and spend money to attract more buyers. More buyers means a better asking price. Upon finding a buyer or two, your agent can help you determine which offer is better. I higher price offer with a mortgage contingency may not be worth as much to you as a lower offer paid in cash. Zillow can't qualify your buyer, either. Your agent can.
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