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HOW ARE ZILLOW NOT BEING SUED FOE LIABLE?

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September 23 2010 - Grayslake
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Answers (7)

Profile picture for Pasadenan
Jim;

Zillow's computer calculation method doesn't use the CMA method of the software package that you rely on, it uses "multiple linear regression", also known as "lease squares curve fit".  It has NOTHING to do with averaging "comps".  The "comps" shown are not even determined until after the estimate is calculated, and the comps shown are selected based on similar estimate, not the other way around.  The least squares curve fit uses 9 information items from the county records:
1) house sqft
2) lot sqft
3) # bedrooms
4) # bathrooms
5) # stories
6) year built
7) tax assessed value (adjusted for local rules)
8) last sold price/date
9) covered parking (if in the county records).

So of course the square feet makes a difference, but any of the factors can be more important at any given time in any area, just as buyers make decisions on many factors.

In the case of your "example" the tax assessed value is the variable pulling the estimate down, even though the square footage variable also pulls it up slightly since you claim it was entered wrong in the public records.
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December 27 2010
Hi Danny, 391 lake was sold as a forclosure, so that price of 77k was a little low for the current market, but definitely not where they have it now at $158,000. It's getting closer though:). Don't stress it over the Zestimate, it's a computer average of nearby comps, the sq ft of the home does make a big change in Zestimate. The home is listed at 970 sq. Ft. It is not the 1700 as listed by Zillow.
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December 27 2010
Profile picture for sunnyview
"Tune out" means not to listen. This online slang dictionary here has lots more definitions. 
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September 25 2010
Profile picture for sunnyview
I understand your point Dannyp2. The problem is that Zillow only has numbers from recent sales, the assessors office and trends in the area. They may create a range and a Zestimate number, but since they cannot see your house or anyone else's they are bound to be off the real market value. Some buyers understand that, but some don't get it and that is frustrating. I know that some agents explain it to their clients, but some people tune that out.

Your house is not worth what Zillow says or the what the assessor says. It is worth what the market will pay. I wish that people relied on their own evaluation of local comps, but some people use that one number and don't understand how limited it really can be.
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September 25 2010
Profile picture for Pasadenan
First, a machine estimate that is published as only an estimate calculated from recent sales in the area and county record data only is not a "libelous" statement.  If you were to sue, you would at least want to make sure you were using the correct terms.

Second, Zillow has already been sued for their publishing of estimates, and the cases have been dismissed.  Thus, you would be fighting a losing battle for nothing.

Third, you would probably spend more than $20k in lawyer fees trying to bring such a case to court, with no hope of getting anything in return, and Zillow has a lawyer on staff that specializes in such issues.

If you are concerned about the value of your house, there are much better ways to establish it.  If you are concerned about marketing your house, there are much more effective ways to accomplish it.  If you are concerned about your return on investment, there are much better ways to spend your time and effort.

Not to mention, if you looked at your home details page view counter, you would notice that no one is looking at that page besides you.
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September 24 2010
Profile picture for Dannyp2

Yes.  Zillow has no idea of most markets and market conditions.  They print inaccurate information a lot.  My neighbor house is valued more than mine.  391 n lake st grayslake il 60030 is at $188K and listed at 1700 sq ft.  It's 1000 sq ft. and it just sold for 77K.  My  house was knocked down in 2001 and rebuilt from the ground up and is still valued at $225,000 even in this market... But Zillow has it for much less.  They give the home owned the option to modify Zillow's value.  How does that read?  Dan thinks his house is worth $225 but Zillow said $177, what is Dan nuts?  That how it reads

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September 23 2010
Libel?

Is there something specific that you were referencing your comment?
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September 23 2010
 
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