Are the zestimate listings confused with "For Sale" listings?

would like to hear from agents and shoppers (so maybe should have posted this in home buying),   Do you get calls and emails from people that think a house is for sale just because it has a zestimate?  what suggestions should we make to zillow to help  prevent this confusion?  why do the listed homes not stand out more than the just zestimates and why not make it clear on homes not listed that they aren't for sale- suggestions??????   (there is another thread on this in Other, mixed bag)
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July 13 2011 - Oklahoma City
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Answers (110)

Profile picture for Dunes....
Really?...I had no clue


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July 16 2011
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr

@ Dunes...

As individuals, there is a wide variance in consumer discipline and accountability. But, viewed as a group, there's always a decent-sized group skewing the curve to the left - otherwise, there wouldn't be anyone for the sharks in the industry to feed on.

If, as a group, consumers could exercise more discipline and demonstrate more intelligence - then there wouldn't be a market for toxic loans and other fly-by-night business practices.

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July 16 2011
Profile picture for Dunes....
Yeah!...That Stupid ignorant not as smart as us Joe Public!
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July 16 2011
Profile picture for Michael Helton
I am with SoCal on his first comment.  

The way I usually go through the Zillow forums is filtering by most recent posts and, by far, the number one question I see across the different topics is some derivative of, "OMG, EVIL Zillow your estimate of my house is totally wrong and ruining my life!"

Put it in flashing pink neon or something to clearly show that a Zestimate is just an automated guess...not an appraisal.
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July 16 2011
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
Agree. That's a small, but significant change. However, I have learned to never under-estimate thecapacity of Joe Public to find new ways to exercise their stupidity.

I'm still bemused by the number of people who are all-hot-and-bothered by Zestimates, and act as if Zillow is on a personal vendetta against them. Even harder to understand is why Zillow is (or, appears to be) singled out from all the other AVM sites, as well as how the upset owners "know" that their personal opinion-of-value is more correct than the Zestimate (although an informed owner will likely have a decent idea of value).
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July 16 2011
Profile picture for Pasadenan
That is a major improvement!  There is still more to be done; but at least it doesn't look like these advertised agents have any listing info on the specific property!

Of course, if one just puts a "make me move" on the property, the agent ads disappear except for the "local showcase".
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July 16 2011
this just started for me!!!!  Zestimate is confusing for some shoppers!  I do not like it!
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July 15 2011
@Russ

that's a good point about not saying "not for sale" because it might be but just not listed with zillow.

but saying it in disclaimer language that zestimate does not equal listing probably isn't any more clear than what you have now.    I haven't had time to do a mockup but still plan to do one.   I'm hoping there is a golden idea that comes in this feedback.  hpvanc's disclaimer seems to be good.

I think this statement by Dunes says it best
People can Easily use Agent sites or Realtor.com to find Real Listings so IMHO having a mess just strengthens the MLS hold, importance and position..
If people decide the Zillow listings are too convoluted or that it has too many false scents they will eventually move on..Then what?


I know that personally, I've leveraged that mess many times-good for me, not good for zillow.  if it weren't the mess...still be good for me AND zillow.

as for the foreclosures...the fake listings cause the exact same problem.  the key difference is- that is simply DISHONESTY where the zestimate issue is confusion. but from a confused customer's perspective-there is no difference.  all they know is they found a house they were excited about, there was an agents face on the side, they contacted that agent and IF they got a response they found it wasn't for sale, if they didn't get a response they wasted more time tracking down another agent or another house that might not be for sale because they don't yet know the difference between actual listings and zestimates.
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July 15 2011
Profile picture for the_country_hick
I would think that putting the "zestimate VALUE" by the $amount would show it was a value and not a price. I never was confused by that but can see how others could be.
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July 14 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
"It's a lot to do, a lot of work and so it is my feeling Zillow needs to lose some of the PR/Maketing focus so they have Staff to properly do the job & respond to inquiries/questions/complaints.
Because if if the job is done & people feel Zillow is going an extra step in responding to them then that will produce more good PR/Marketing than all the lost PR positions and focus could ever bring to Zillow"

In regard to the foreclosure dot com problem:
"You are absolutely correct, it doesn't belong on the website, and I've said so many times.  But the only response I get is "Zillow has an arrangement..."  (I say, get rid of the arrangement; it is not good data, and the negative effects to the site are not worth any possible revenue stream from the arrangement)."

Hard to find anything in either of these 2 statements.  People tend to forget that companies that take those kind of attitudes often thrive in spite of the perceived lack of marketing and PR.  "Good" or "great" marketing all too often equals bad business plain and simple.  Companies that believe marketing is their primary focus can only last so long, they quickly find themselves in the position where the only thing that is left to sell is the shell of the company itself.

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July 14 2011
Profile picture for Dunes....
Total agreement Pasa....

Now add in the mix people thinking the Zestimates are "Listings", the people who don't want their Properties displayed despite the Public info/it's a good thing position, Agents not updating/removing listings, Agents posting bogus listings as Bait and and...What do you have?

People can Easily use Agent sites or Realtor.com to find Real Listings so IMHO having a mess just strengthens the MLS hold, importance and position..
If people decide the Zillow listings are too convoluted or that it has too many false scents they will eventually move on..Then what?

I mean Seriously..why do they come here in the First Place?
FSBO's are an advantage but IMO that card has been poorly played

It's a lot to do, a lot of work and so it is my feeling Zillow needs to lose some of the PR/Maketing focus so they have Staff to properly do the job & respond to inquiries/questions/complaints.
Because if if the job is done & people feel Zillow is going an extra step in responding to them then that will produce more good PR/Marketing than all the lost PR positions and focus could ever bring to Zillow

Just this fool's opinion...sorry for the Hi-Jack rant Connie

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July 14 2011
Profile picture for Pasadenan
"I have a real Problem with the Fact that if you use the Zillow Search for Forclosures you get Bait Ad after Bait Ad from Forclosure.com..not actual Foreclosures.." -

That is why I use the filters; to get rid of that "garbage"....  But again, the general public has no clue they can do this, unless they ask on the forum, and someone like me tells them how to avoid the garbage.

You are absolutely correct, it doesn't belong on the website, and I've said so many times.  But the only response I get is "Zillow has an arrangement..."  (I say, get rid of the arrangement; it is not good data, and the negative effects to the site are not worth any possible revenue stream from the arrangement).

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July 14 2011
Profile picture for Dunes....
Pasa..I have a real Problem with the Fact that if you use the Zillow Search for Forclosures you get Bait Ad after Bait Ad from Forclosure.com..not actual Foreclosures..

Trulia does the same with Realtytrac Ads

Foreclosure Search for Corvallis Or...Link




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July 14 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
Russ,

Why not make it "Not Listed for sale on Zillow", with this kind of disclaimer "this property may be listed for sale and not advertised on Zillow". Public data and the Zestimate would still be displayed, and people that use Zillow for research can still do so if they are looking at a property in the neighborhood or have seen it listed on another source.  Just don't provide agent links or agent ads on pages of non-listed for sale properties on Zillow, you can still provide any other advertisement, links to actual Zillow listings and links to the agent directory.
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July 14 2011
Profile picture for Pasadenan
That's my opinion too Dunes!  Actually I don't think anything that doesn't have a full address should show up on the site at all, and ones that don't have a listing price should not be considered a listing and thus shouldn't have any other websites associated with them.

And "90 day late" notices should never be considered listings in any respect by anyone.  Listing such properties should be illegal.  (Sure, the late notices are public record, but it doesn't belong here).

Of course, I filter these out by setting a minimum price, a minimum #beds & baths and sq-footage on the search, but most people don't even think to do these things, or even know it is necessary to do it.



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July 14 2011
Profile picture for Dunes....
If you go the "Not Listed" route then it should also be placed on those Fake Foreclosure.com  "Foreclosures".....IMO
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July 14 2011
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
@ Russ...

I posted on the other thread on this topic, but...

A simple watermark on the photo in the details page with a "Not Listed" could go a long ways. I originally thought "Not for Sale", but there's no way Zillow really can know that (e.g. poorly marketed FSBO?). So, "Not Listed" is the most accurate statement Zillow can make about homes without a MLS feed or paid ad.
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July 14 2011
We're not getting much traction on this. Darn. I'm moving it to Home Buying in hopes that it'll get more visibility with the new title.

There is probably a need to get even stronger on the listings "quality" front when it comes to *explicitly* listing a home as "Not For Sale" in some manner(ie versus implicitly saying it's not for sale by only having a Zestimate on it). As we know, there are homes that are for sale that we just don't show as such for various reasons. Now, I'm not saying something on this doesn't make sense...only that this would be a consideration for us.

Feedback on the "Find out more about <Address>" is interesting. We do show "Similar homes for sale" underneath that module on the "C-column" so perhaps there is an opportunity to merge that somehow?

There's probably something here on the PR/awareness side around a "Zestimate does not equal For Sale", and around our database of all homes when most sites like ours are listings-only, which then sets the expectations for consumers when they come to our site.

And, of course, there are aspects to the UI/UX: colors, sizing, icons, banners, relative positioning, etc.

Appreciate the feedback, all.

Russ
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July 14 2011
Profile picture for Dunes....
And what about the Fake Foreclosures posted as Bait by Foreclosure.com to steer Consumers to their Pay Site?
River loop 2

Owner of River Loop 2 ... Why?
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July 13 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
Bump, I think this is a good question, too bad it has not had any responses yet.
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July 13 2011
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