The Zillow Zestimate uses an algorithm which works best when comparable houses are recently sold. However, Chatham County has very few subdivisions which confuse algorithms, making computer generated price estimates inaccurate.
Chatham County Land Sales Expert Eric Andrews explains more in this video:
Sometimes they work, sometimes they’re right. But one of the main things that people need to know about Pittsboro is Pittsboro has very few subdivisions, and so a lot of the houses are outside of your standard subdivision. If we go outside the town limits and just go the 27312 area code, a lot of those houses aren’t even in subdivisions. Zillow is most effective when we go to carry and there is a 300 home subdivision and there’s basically four or five house plans that have ever been sold in that subdivision. And then there’s 10 of these houses that are selling per month. Like you might have two or three of the exact same floor plan, the exact same age home, that is sold in the last month.
It’s not hard for Zestimate to slap a price on that. I mean, three of them sold, you can find a quick average. That’s probably a fairly accurate Zestimate, but when you throw everything into the meat grinder… Like in Moncure, we have situations where there is actually a $675,000 home on 20 acres that’s next door to a 30-year-old, double wide on an acre and a half for probably $80 to a $100,000, both of those are going in the Zillow meat grinder.
So that’s going to say that the double wide’s worth 300 grand, and that’s going to say the $675 is worth 300 grand, and that’s just not accurate. You really want to compare apples to apples. When you go out into the rural areas, or just in Pittsboro in general, and you go outside of the subdivisions, it’s very difficult.
And even when you have subdivisions, and like just in Pittsboro right now, we have Potterstone, Willow Springs, Chatham Forest, and Powell Place. Those are four subdivisions in the Pittsboro city limits. Anybody knows anything about Pittsboro, those are four very different subdivisions. So when you do that Zestimate, it’s throwing all four of those into the mix, and I don’t think it’s an accurate number at all. It’s not a bad baseline guideline, but I think if someone’s interested in selling their house, they should certainly consult with a real estate professional so they can compare those apple to apples.