Everyone talks about them. Some buyers want to make their offers based on them. But just how accurate is a Zestimate offer by Zillow?
I think that has to do a lot with the old real estate adage "Location, Location, Location". While a Zestimate might be fairly accurate for a house in a full-time residential community of hundreds of similar house and usually only 4-5 different models, on the Outer Banks it is a completely different story.
On the Outer Banks of North Carolina distance from the beach plays an important role. So much so that in some case just crossing the street and drop a properties value by as much as 50%. This makes things very challenging for a computerized valuation model trying to come up with a price looking at sold comps within a 1 mile radius. Even Zillow recognizes that there calculations may be flawed. To show this I pulled up my own house in Carova Beach. Like any other property, Zillow gave me a nice solid Zestimate number in the top left hand corner of the page where it could be easily found. But, buried down deeper in the page is the hidden truth. About halfway down the page that Zestimate number pops up again only this time they are giving a range of their accuracy along with it. In my case that range was a spread of $143,000.
My God! You could fit another house in there!
In my world you you mis price a house by $143,000 you are likely to either have it sold in the first week or it is going to sit for the next year. In the end if you are planning on buying or selling a property on the Outer Banks skip Zillow and find yourself a knowledgeable local REALTOR to give you the real numbers.