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As the sun shines brightly over Studio City, California, the summer of 2024 brings a vibrant energy to the local real estate market. Homeowners and prospective buyers alike often turn to Zillow’s Zestimates for a quick valuation of properties. While Zestimates can be a useful starting point, there are several misconceptions about their accuracy and reliability. Victoria Beliso, the #1 real estate agent in Studio City, California, sheds light on these misconceptions and provides expert insights to help you navigate the real estate landscape with confidence.

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1. Zestimates are Always Accurate

One of the most common misconceptions is that Zestimates are always accurate. While they provide a ballpark figure, they often miss the mark due to their reliance on automated algorithms.

Reality Check:

  • Algorithm Limitations: Zestimates use publicly available data and automated calculations, which can lead to inaccuracies.
  • Lack of Local Expertise: They do not account for the unique characteristics and nuances of the Studio City market.

Victoria’s Insight:

“Think of a Zestimate as a starting point, not the final word. It’s a good idea to consult with a local expert who understands the intricacies of our market,” says Victoria Beliso.

2. Zestimates Include the Condition of the Home

Many believe that Zestimates take into account the condition of the home, including any upgrades or renovations. However, this is not the case.

Reality Check:

  • Standard Data: Zestimates are based on standard data inputs and do not factor in specific home conditions.
  • Overlooks Renovations: They often overlook recent upgrades or the quality of maintenance.

Victoria’s Insight:

“An automated tool can’t see the new kitchen remodel or the lush garden in the backyard. These details significantly impact your home’s value,” Victoria explains.

3. Zestimates Adjust for Market Trends

There’s a misconception that Zestimates automatically adjust for current market trends and economic conditions.

Reality Check:

  • Delayed Updates: Zestimates may not reflect real-time market changes, leading to outdated valuations.
  • Generalized Data: They use generalized data, which may not accurately capture local market dynamics.

Victoria’s Insight:

“Market conditions can change rapidly, especially in a dynamic place like Studio City. It’s important to get a current market analysis from a knowledgeable real estate agent,” notes Victoria.

4. Zestimates Reflect the True Value of Unique Properties

People often think that Zestimates can accurately reflect the value of unique or custom-built homes.

Reality Check:

  • One-Size-Fits-All: The algorithm uses a one-size-fits-all approach, which doesn’t account for unique features or custom designs.
  • Special Characteristics: Special characteristics such as historical significance or architectural uniqueness are often overlooked.

Victoria’s Insight:

“Unique properties require a nuanced evaluation that considers their special attributes. This is something an algorithm can’t provide,” says Victoria.

5. Zestimates are the Same as Appraisals

Another common misconception is that Zestimates are equivalent to professional appraisals.

Reality Check:

  • Professional Expertise: Appraisals are conducted by licensed professionals who physically inspect the property.
  • Detailed Analysis: Appraisers consider a wide range of factors, including market conditions, property condition, and comparable sales.

Victoria’s Insight:

“An appraisal is a detailed and professional assessment of your home’s value. It’s far more comprehensive and accurate than an online estimate,” Victoria explains.

6. Zestimates Account for Local Market Nuances

People often believe that Zestimates take into account the unique aspects of local markets, such as neighborhood desirability and proximity to amenities.

Reality Check:

  • Broad Data Sets: Zestimates use broad data sets that may not capture the specific nuances of local markets.
  • Neighborhood Variations: They may not differentiate between varying desirability of neighborhoods within Studio City.

Victoria’s Insight:

“Local market nuances, like being close to top schools or trendy hotspots, can significantly impact value. These are things a Zestimate might miss,” says Victoria.

7. Zestimates are Accurate for Every Home

There’s a belief that Zestimates provide equally accurate valuations for all types of homes.

Reality Check:

  • Diverse Property Types: The accuracy of Zestimates can vary widely depending on the type and location of the property.
  • High-Value and Unique Homes: They tend to be less accurate for high-value or unique homes.

Victoria’s Insight:

“Every home is different, and high-value properties or those with unique features require a more personalized valuation approach,” Victoria notes.

8. Zestimates are Updated in Real Time

Many assume that Zestimates are updated in real time to reflect the latest market conditions and property changes.

Reality Check:

  • Update Frequency: While Zillow updates Zestimates regularly, there can be a lag in reflecting the most recent data.
  • Dynamic Market: In a fast-moving market, even slight delays can lead to outdated valuations.

Victoria’s Insight:

“Real-time market insights are crucial. A Zestimate might lag behind, which is why regular updates and local expertise are essential,” Victoria explains.

9. Zestimates Include All Relevant Data

Another misconception is that Zestimates include all relevant data points necessary for an accurate valuation.

Reality Check:

  • Data Gaps: There can be gaps in the data used by Zillow, such as missing recent sales or incorrect property details.
  • User Input Errors: Information submitted by users might be inaccurate or incomplete.

Victoria’s Insight:

“Data accuracy is critical for a reliable valuation. Missing or incorrect data can lead to significant discrepancies,” Victoria says.

10. Zestimates Are the Final Word on Home Value

Finally, some believe that Zestimates are the definitive measure of a home’s value.

Reality Check:

  • Starting Point: Zestimates should be viewed as a starting point rather than the final word on home value.
  • Professional Evaluation: A professional evaluation from a local real estate expert provides a more accurate and comprehensive assessment.

Victoria’s Insight:

“While a Zestimate can give you a rough idea, it’s no substitute for a detailed analysis by a real estate professional. It’s important to get a full picture,” Victoria advises.

The Importance of Working with a Local Expert

Navigating the real estate market in Studio City requires more than just an online estimate. Working with a local expert like Victoria Beliso ensures that you get an accurate and nuanced understanding of your home’s value.

Why Choose Victoria Beliso:

  • Local Knowledge: Victoria’s deep understanding of Studio City’s neighborhoods and market trends provides a precise valuation.
  • Personalized Service: Victoria offers tailored advice and support throughout the valuation and selling process.
  • Proven Track Record: As the #1 real estate agent in Studio City, Victoria has a proven track record of helping clients achieve the best possible outcomes.

Victoria’s Final Word:

“Your home is one of your most significant investments. Ensuring you have an accurate valuation is crucial, and that’s where my expertise comes in. Relying solely on an algorithm doesn’t give you the full picture,” Victoria concludes.


Zillow’s Zestimates can be a helpful tool for getting a rough estimate of your home’s value, but it’s important to understand their limitations. Misconceptions about their accuracy and reliability can lead to unrealistic expectations. By recognizing these common misconceptions and relying on the expertise of a local real estate professional like Victoria Beliso, you can ensure a more accurate and comprehensive valuation of your home.

This summer of 2024, as the real estate market in Studio City heats up, make sure you have the right information and the best support. Trust Victoria Beliso to guide you through the process with professionalism, expertise, and a deep understanding of what makes Studio City such a desirable place to live. Whether you’re buying, selling, or simply curious about your home’s value, Victoria is here to help you every step of the way.

Victoria Beliso

(310) 430-8641

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