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When it comes to determining the value of your home, many homeowners turn to online tools like Zillow’s Zestimate for a quick estimate. While Zestimates can provide a rough idea of your home’s value, they are not always accurate, especially in unique markets like Studio City, California. Victoria Beliso, the #1 real estate agent in Studio City, offers her expert advice on how to evaluate the accuracy of your Zestimate. Here are five tips to help you understand and assess your home’s true market value.

Looking to sell my home in Studio City California

Studio City California Real Estate and Homes For Sale

1. Understand the Limitations of the Zestimate Algorithm

The first step in evaluating the accuracy of your Zestimate is to understand the limitations of the algorithm that generates it. Zillow’s Zestimate uses a proprietary formula that incorporates publicly available data, user-submitted information, and recent sales of comparable properties.

Key Limitations:

  • Data Quality: The Zestimate relies on public records and user input, which can sometimes be outdated or incorrect.
  • Lack of Local Expertise: The algorithm cannot account for the unique characteristics of specific neighborhoods or the current market conditions in Studio City.
  • Standardization Issues: The algorithm uses a standardized approach that may not accurately reflect the nuances of your home or its specific features.

Victoria’s Insight:

“The Zestimate is a useful starting point, but it’s essential to recognize its limitations. Understanding that it’s based on broad data and not tailored to individual properties can help set realistic expectations,” says Victoria Beliso.

2. Compare Recent Sales of Similar Properties

One of the best ways to evaluate the accuracy of your Zestimate is to compare it with the sale prices of similar properties in your area. This method, known as a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), involves looking at recent sales of homes with similar characteristics, such as size, age, and condition.

Steps to Conduct a CMA:

  • Identify Comparable Properties: Look for homes in Studio City that have sold within the last six months and are similar in size, layout, and condition to your home.
  • Analyze Sale Prices: Compare the sale prices of these homes to your Zestimate. If there is a significant discrepancy, it may indicate that your Zestimate is not accurate.
  • Adjust for Differences: Consider any unique features or upgrades in your home that might justify a higher or lower value compared to the comps.

Victoria’s Insight:

“A CMA provides a more accurate picture of your home’s value than a Zestimate. As a local expert, I can help identify the most relevant comps and adjust for unique features, giving you a clearer understanding of your home’s worth,” Victoria explains.

3. Assess the Condition and Upgrades of Your Home

The condition of your home and any upgrades or renovations you’ve made can significantly impact its value. Zestimates often fail to accurately account for these factors, as they rely on standard data inputs.

Key Considerations:

  • Recent Renovations: Upgrades such as a new kitchen, bathroom remodel, or energy-efficient windows can increase your home’s value.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance and upkeep, such as a well-maintained roof and HVAC system, contribute to the overall value.
  • Unique Features: Custom features, like a swimming pool, home theater, or premium landscaping, can set your home apart from others in the area.

Victoria’s Insight:

“A Zestimate doesn’t see the new granite countertops or the custom-built deck in your backyard. These features can add substantial value to your home, which is why a professional evaluation is so important,” says Victoria.

4. Consider the Local Market Conditions

Local market conditions play a crucial role in determining home values. Factors such as supply and demand, interest rates, and economic conditions can all impact the real estate market in Studio City.

Market Condition Indicators:

  • Supply and Demand: A low supply of homes and high demand from buyers typically drive up prices.
  • Interest Rates: Lower interest rates can increase buyer affordability, leading to higher home prices.
  • Economic Factors: Employment rates, income levels, and economic growth in the area can influence home values.

Victoria’s Insight:

“Real estate is highly local, and understanding current market conditions in Studio City is essential for an accurate valuation. I keep a close eye on market trends to provide my clients with the most up-to-date information,” Victoria notes.

5. Get a Professional Appraisal

While Zestimates can be a helpful starting point, there is no substitute for a professional appraisal. An appraiser will conduct a thorough evaluation of your home, considering factors that online tools cannot accurately assess.

Benefits of a Professional Appraisal:

  • Detailed Inspection: An appraiser will physically inspect your home, noting its condition, features, and any recent upgrades.
  • Market Comparisons: Appraisers use recent sales data from comparable properties to determine a fair market value.
  • Objective Evaluation: A professional appraisal provides an unbiased opinion of your home’s value, which can be particularly useful for selling or refinancing.

Victoria’s Insight:

“Investing in a professional appraisal is a smart move. It provides a comprehensive and objective assessment of your home’s value, which is invaluable when making financial decisions,” says Victoria.

The Importance of Working with a Local Real Estate Expert

Evaluating the accuracy of your Zestimate is a complex process that requires a deep understanding of the local market and the unique characteristics of your home. Working with a local real estate expert like Victoria Beliso can provide you with the insights and guidance you need to get an accurate valuation.

Why Choose Victoria Beliso:

  • Local Knowledge: Victoria’s intimate knowledge of Studio City’s neighborhoods and market trends ensures 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.


While Zillow’s Zestimate can provide a general idea of your home’s value, it’s important to recognize its limitations and take additional steps to ensure accuracy. By understanding the Zestimate algorithm’s constraints, comparing recent sales of similar properties, assessing the condition and upgrades of your home, considering local market conditions, and getting a professional appraisal, you can better evaluate your home’s true market value.

Victoria Beliso, the #1 real estate agent in Studio City, offers the expertise and personalized service necessary to provide a comprehensive and accurate home valuation. If you’re looking to sell your home or simply want to understand its value, trust Victoria to guide you through the process with professionalism and care.

Victoria Beliso

(310) 430-8641

Looking to sell my home in Studio City California