Carova, NC Outer Banks Real Estate: How accurate is a Zillow Zestimate on the Outer Banks?

How accurate is a Zillow Zestimate on the Outer Banks?

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.



Zillow Zestimate

Jean-Paul Peron
Living & Working in 4-Wheel Drive
The Outer Banks Real Estate Company
Work:  (888) 457-7376
Mobile: (252) 564-9390


Comment balloon 4 commentsJean-Paul Peron • March 25 2014 03:28AM


Hello Jean-Paul, Zillow is not very reliable in our area.  One foreclosure and the whole neighborhood is affected.  Historically, it has never been accurate overall - unfortunately the public is not really aware.  There are other features offered and Zillow is attracting a number of buyers and sellers but at the end of the day it does not replace the knowledge and expertise of a good realtor!

Posted by Deborah Laemmerhirt - REALTOR® Brookfield,Newtown,Roxbury,Bridgewater,Washington,Sherman, Luxury Homes,WaterFront,Equestrian,NewConstruction (Keller Williams Luxury Homes International) about 4 years ago

I believe these zestimates are a huge disservice to home buyers and sellers. It's rare that I find one that is truly "on the money."

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC) about 4 years ago
Great post. I have not looked into it that deeply, but am aware that 37% of the info on Trulia & Zillow is inaccurate. They want the site traffic, and don't focus on accuracy. A local pro is vital to a successfull real estate purchase or sale.
Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) about 4 years ago

I couldn't have said it better myself!  When a buyer calls to inquire about a listing they saw on Zillow, I hear some of the most outrageous things!  If the location or the price comparisons are inaccurate it takes up time explaining the true facts to the buyer, who argues that it must be true since "I read it in Zillow" (or Trulio).  I get the feeling sometimes, that the prospect thinks I am uninformed!  Just because I live where I work, doesn't mean I know what I am doing.   Thanks for your excellent post, Jean-Paul.

Posted by Morgan Mason, Outer Banks Beach Houses for Sale (The Outer Banks Real Estate Company LLC) about 4 years ago