People throughout Long Island have been relying on Zillow as their one and only source for home valuations. Sadly, this is one of the worst places to obtain an estimate of your home's value. 

In an article published by LA Times, it states that in San Francisco, California, the median home value is near $1,008,000 with "Zestimates" being inaccurate at a rate of 11.6% which amounts to about $117,000. This just further proves that computers and online sites will not be able to provide you with the most accurate valuation of your home. Even Zillow's very own CEO, Spencer Rascoff, said that "Zestimates" are a "good starting point" but that nationwide "Zestimates" have a "median error rate" of about 8%.

Source: Inaccurate Zillow 'Zestimates' a source of conflict over home prices

1. Inaccurate Basic Information

Much of this information such as how many bedrooms/bathrooms make up the home, square footage of the home, and the lot size must  be accurate! Typically, these details have to be inputted by the seller online and then once the agent receives it, they are left trusting that information. The Globe and Mail states that the estimate is generated using data provided by Centract Settlement Services. This company has appraised millions of homes and the data being used doesn't actually pull any information but rather bases it off of home appraisals in and around the area. 

2. Mistakes or Omissions in Sales Prices or Property Tax Records

This is a BIG one. Property tax records are a part of the home valuation process that should never be overlooked. Just like inaccurate basic information, inaccurate date of sale or past sale prices affect the perceived value of your home. 

3. Upgrades and Unique Features Unaccounted For

To keep things simple... the internet won't know what you don't tell the internet. 

It's highly suggested to REPORT your home improvements or upgrades that you make to the property. Although you may view it as a simple, quick and easy fix, it could, in fact, affect your home's overall value when it comes time to sell your home. 

There is a common misconception that if you happened to update your kitchen or remodel your interior, it equates to $100,000 more in value. However, that is not necessarily true. Be mindful that upgrades and additions to the home greatly depend on what other homes in your market are like. 

4. Housing Turnover Rate

The turnover rate for the housing market is a simple one. The hotter the market (meaning the more homes that are selling and the more information available online about homes in your area), the more accurate your online valuation will be!

As a proud member of the Smithtown community who actually lives here, works here and sells homes here, I would be happy to send you a free custom report of exactly what your home is worth. 

Technology is awesome, but when it comes to the value of your largest financial asset, the accuracy of your home's value matters.

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