You are correct in the fact that a computer has no feelings or appreciation like an appraiser does. As I have stated before, and you have also stated, the computer will not take into consideration the location, type of property, etc. Although you state that it is all reliant on the data received, and the more you have the more accurate it will be, does not necessary make it true. I am not a hugh fan of computers determining the value of my property based on data entered. I am a fan of the human eye and dilegent investigation on my property to determine the real value. I believe we will always be at odds.
My house had a very detailed appraisal in January 2008. It was valued at $325,000. Zillow shows the value of my house as $267,000. Zillow's way of determining value and the appraiser's way of determining value are completely opposite. Zillow is comparing my house with property that is 15 plus years old in old run down neighborhoods in the area. My house is 6 years old in a new subdivision that is about 9 years old. The houses in my subdivision are valued from the $300's up to $500's. The houses in the old areas are valued in the $100's and very low $200's. Yet these old areas is how Zillow is comparing my property. Zillow, you are wrong.
For the last few months, I have checked the zestimates on my property. The value given by Zillow has been a low ball. This is why. My property is in a subdivision that was developed about 9 years ago. The houses in this subdivision are 8 years old or less. Our subdivision is surrounded by houses and subdivisions that are 20 years or older. When Zillow does the evaluation of our house, they compare it to those houses 20 years or older. This is the wrong way to evaluate, and shows that Zillow is not always accurate. Today, they show our house at the top as $278,000. Our appraiser, who did a very detailed appraisal, taking the surrounding area into consideration, appraised our property at $325,000 in a down market.