Ask Adam: Inaccurate Details on Zillow

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.

Q. I bought a two-bedroom, two-bath house in Arlington in 2000. I see on Zillow that it’s listed as having one bath. Should I be concerned about whether the county has accurate records? Will this be a problem when I sell?

The information found on Zillow is far from perfect, but the good news is that you can update the details about your home. If you look up your home in Zillow there should be a summary of details in the upper left corner of the screen. Below that is a button labeled “Claim This Home.” Once you claim the home, you will be allowed to correct your home’s data so that there isn’t any confusion when you go to sell the home one day.

For some reason the Arlington County Real Estate Assessment webpage does not include the number of bedrooms and baths listed for the home. You can call the Department of Real Estate Assessment at 703-228-3920 to find what information they have on record. You can also have your Realtor look it up for you in the tax record portion of the MLS. If there is an inaccuracy, I recommend getting it cleared up prior to putting your home on the market.

Note: adding a bedroom or bathroom may cause your assessed value to go up, which will increase your county taxes.

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