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What are Zillow Zestimates?

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Zillow Zestimates are an automated real estate estimate tool used by the popular real estate's website to help customers gauge what a house is worth. The tool has become a source of controversy for many, as its inaccuracies can cause confusion for both the potential buyer and seller of a house, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. The problem lies with the fact that automated software doesn't take into account market fluctuation, the condition of a house or even the company's margin of error, stated at a median rate of 8 percent.

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The Zillow site received more than 73 million unique visitors in December of 2014, and through a Zestimate gives its clients access to a vast amount of public information about a property, as criticized by the Washington Post. This information is filtered through a sophisticated algorithm that compares property values, provides physical characteristics of a property and gives an interested party access to public information about property taxes, past ownership and issues facing the house's location.

While the company's CEO Spencer Rascoff admits that there is a margin or error in the software, he believes that it gives interested buyers a good place to start when entering into negotiations regarding the sale of a piece of real estate.

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