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Zestimate is significantly below the appraised value!

Hi, I just got my house appraised for $650k, however the Zestimate on your website is at $552k, way below the professional appraisal. The property address is 1124C N Stafford St, Arlington, VA 22201.
Why is there such a discrepancy?
  • July 05 2013 - Ballston-Virginia Square
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Answers (6)

The Z-Estimate pulls data from the tax records.  The tax records are updated once a year.  Did values go up in your market area over the last year?
  • July 03 2014
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A Zestimate is solely an estimate not an appraisal.  It will get you in the ballpark but let's say you went to get a home equity line of credit or re-finance and you gave the bank your Zestimate...they would literally laugh at you.  Zestimate does not take into account renovations, additions, distressed property sales, and more.  No one that works for Zillow has inspected your home to give you a Zestimate, it is just an algorithm that they even say their "data sources may be incomplete or incorrect."  When running comps on a property I would use Zillow initially to make sure you are in the ballpark but then use the MLS to run the actual comps.

Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Jeff Leighton
Licensed Realtor in VA/DC/MD
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  • March 27 2014
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As the other comments suggest, you get what you pay for!  Zillow is based on an algorithm of data from recent sales and tax records in the physical location of your property but there is ZERO subjective analysis in the Zestimate (or GUESS) as someone else suggested.  Since they are taking into account everything (including that short sale that sold in a very old condo community that isn't within walking distance to the metro like yours obviously is), you should take that Zestimate and throw it out the window.  It means nothing!
  • July 25 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Zestimate 70% confidence interval from public facts only: $497K – $635K

Appraiser who stops by and sees your finished basement and master bedroom with cathedral ceiling, loft and a skylight. Remodeled: new stainless KT appliances & granite counter tops, new washer & dryer, new ceramic tile floors in KT & foyer, hardwood floor on main level, new roof, new A/C unit, all 3 bathrooms are all new including a whirlpool tub in master.....    and puts it a tad above the 70% confidence range.  

"such a discrepancy".  Actually, that is exactly what would be expected as Zillow's free AVM doesn't account for upgrades or condition.

  • July 06 2013
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A Zestimate is interesting, but not particularly noteworthy. Recent historical data of similar sold homes in your area is much more valuable and accurate, but the appraiser will generally be the most accurate.
  • July 06 2013
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Let's see. You paid $400 + for an appraiser to come to your house and look it over and give you an opinion of value compared to a computer generated guess based on public records but never having seen the property or the area, and it's free. How could you think they could even be close? A guess is a guess and a zestimate is a guess.
  • July 05 2013
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