3 Causes Online Property Evaluations May Inaccurately Boost the Value of Your Matrimonial Residence

3 Causes Online Property Evaluations May Inaccurately Boost the Value of Your Matrimonial Residence

3 Causes Online Property Evaluations May Inaccurately Boost the Value of Your Matrimonial Residence

During the process of divorcing (even when it’s amicable), it can be considerably less distressing for all parties involved to expedite the proceedings. Regrettably, numerous individuals nowadays resort to online appraisal platforms (like Zillow) that can assign a value to their residential property in a matter of minutes.

Going through a divorce is tough, no doubt about it. While it may be tempting to try to get things over with as quickly as possible, it’s important to take the time to make sure that everything is done right, especially when it comes to appraising your marital home.

Many people are turning to online appraisal services like Zillow to get an idea of what their home is worth. And while these services may seem convenient, there are several reasons why they can be unreliable, especially in the context of divorce.

Interior Conditions Are Ignored 🏠

One of the biggest issues with online appraisals is that they cannot take into account the interior condition of your home. Zillow may not know that you just renovated your kitchen or added new flooring, which can significantly increase the value of your home. On the other hand, if your walls are dented or dingy from years of use, Zillow won’t be able to accurately deduct that from the overall value.

Margin of Error is Too High to be Accurate 📈

Zillow’s accuracy is highly dependent on the information that the county has available regarding your property. When basic information like the number of bedrooms or bathrooms is missing or incorrect, it makes it nearly impossible to calculate an accurate market value. According to Zillow’s own statistics, only 40.9% of homes sold within 5% of the Zestimate in Santa Cruz, while in San Francisco, only 28.8% of homes sold within 5% of the Zestimate.

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Avoid false declaration

Zillow May Choose Grossly Inaccurate Comps 🤔

Another issue with online appraisals is that they may not take into account the difference in types of properties. For example, a single-family dwelling may be compared to a townhome in their appraisals, which can drastically affect the value of your home. A professional appraiser would be able to identify whether the properties compared to yours are similar or not.

Start with Zillow, But Hire an Actual Appraiser 👨‍💼

While Zillow can be a good starting point to get a ballpark figure of your home’s value, it’s always better to hire an actual appraiser. An in-person appraiser can better account for the interior condition of your home, has more accurate information regarding your property, and can ultimately give you a more conclusive picture than Zillow can. It’s worth the investment to have an accurate appraisal of your marital home, especially when it comes to dividing up your assets.

Don’t Trust Zillow Blindly 🙅‍♀️

Finally, it’s worth noting that even the founder of Zillow, Spencer Rascoff, experienced the inaccuracy of Zillow firsthand. Rascoff’s own home was valued at approximately $1.75 million on Zillow, but the final sale closed at just $1.05 million—a 40% difference in price. Don’t blindly trust Zillow, and always verify its information with a professional appraiser.

In conclusion, while online appraisal services like Zillow may seem convenient, they often lack the capacity to account for the interior condition and unique features of your home, making them unreliable for divorce appraisals. Always hire an actual appraiser to get an accurate appraisal of your marital home.

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