How do I sue Zillow?

Your "zestimate" is like $40,000 less than the APPRAISAL I just had done.  Your LOW zestimate is costing me severely in this market as people get on Zillow and think that's what the house is worth.  I will be suing you if your "zestimate" is not removed immediately from this site.  Your zestimate is driving down home prices and damaging our ability to sell our home for it's appraised value.  So I suggest if you don't want a lawsuit, you better make some changes or I will be contacting my attorney.
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March 11 2011 - Howell
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Profile picture for KJLars
I agree that Zillow's estimates of value are totally wrong.  Zillow ignores additional information and the information they gather from "public" records is incorrect. I am familiar with homes listed for sale on Zillow in our area (Sandy, UT) and the sq. foot is incorrect, amenities are wrong, etc.  Zillows estimate of our home is $20,0000 less then a recent appraisal.  Zillow should verify information they post as they do hurt sellers.  Advise to buyers: use MLS listings, Owners.com, FSBO.com, etc for more accurate information.
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March 27 2011
Profile picture for user0478795
You think a $40k difference in value is bad? Zillow has our house listed at $120K under the sales price and $140k under the 3 appraisals we've had done!  It is illegal to "talk down" a stock to bring down it's value, so I don't see how this is any different. I hope to see a class action law suit brought against Zillow for this reckless "guesstimating." I will be the first to add my name to the complaint.
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September 27 2012
Profile picture for casey70
I really wish Zillow would just remove the "Zestimate" altogether, or at least allow a homeowner the option of removing it. That would solve the problem. I don't understand why they won't do that?
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September 17 2012
As a buyer, I just look at it as a lot more information that is available to me. If I am interested in a home, I will run the address through as many AVM's as I can. I will use the information on those sites to see what houses have sold for VERY recently. This is the biggest financial decision we have ever made. I would rather lose a house by offering too little, than to overpay. I think a lot of people want to shoot the messenger if Zillow or some other AVM says their house is worth less than they think it is worth. And in most markets, I don't believe we have hit the bottom, much less leveled off housing prices yet.

I wish there was complete and total transparency available in the real estate market everywhere. It should be EASY in the information age to see what others have paid recently for nearby, similar homes. Then it should be easy to compare that to new construction. I just think if that were the case ten years ago, we wouldn't be in the housing crisis we are in now.

I believe the market and how it operates is about to get a whole new paradigm, whether the industry likes it or not. All it will take is the right person with the right plan (and website design and functions) and he/she will have us all doing things a different way.
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January 13 2012
Profile picture for adachunk
I just checked the stats again. That house has only 2 bedrooms. So a  TWO bedroom 1.5 bathroom on a 5600 sq ft lot down the block is worth 140K more than a 4 bedroom 2 bath on a 6800 square foot lot? Unless my inspector missed a giant fissure in the ground about to swallow up my home, I'd have to say that these sites are about as reliable as chain emails.
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January 13 2012
Profile picture for adachunk
I found another realty site last night site called "Homes.com" which had our home up 70K from the purchase price. Between three sites there was what one might call a huge "margin of error" .I know our home was not "up" $70K more than purchase price shortly after we bought it. It was listed as "valued" at 481K less than a year after we bought it for 410K. Another site has it listed as 140K below the "value" of a similar home down the street (a home with less features, smaller lot, and fewer rooms) . Their "estimate is for 50K "less" than we paid for our short sale. I found interior pics of the home "valued" at 140K more than ours and has outdated everything: cheesy bathroom (only 1 bathroom), only 3 bedrooms, an atrocious cheesy kitchen, and original single pane aluminum windows from the 1950's). We have a beautiful master suite with updated bathroom, a second bathroom (like the other home with its original 1950's tile) , 4 bedrooms, double pane windows, not a recently updated kitchen but updated in the late 1980's,, the list goes on. These sites damage the psychology of buyers and sellers and anyone on the fence. If the market is to stabilize, these sites need to invest more in their consistency. I don't care what the disclaimers are, I care about stabilizing the economy and that in big part will be to get more predictability into real estate. Until there is some predictability, the real estate market will negatively effect many, many other sectors of the economy.
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January 13 2012
Profile picture for adachunk
Zillow is better than Trulia. Trulia is fried. They have a home down the street (in the same neighborhood!) on a 1000 square foot smaller lot, with fewer rooms and features "estimated" for $140K more than ours. It must be the solid gold crown molding. We paid 410K rfor our which had sold previously for 674K - the owners had to short sale it. We bought in January 2010 at what looked like the bottom. The online "estimates" went up for a while showing what was "un-sweated equity" and then fell through the floor - EXCEPT for properties which recently sold. In that case, the purchase price seems to have an incredicble effect on the "estimate". The methodology is suspect. I asked if I could submit pictures and a list of features to Trulia but there is no two-way communication and no way to send them pictures. These online estimates are weird and unpredictable. I am not a fan of the Internet in areas that require human attention to individual conditions, details, etc. In addition, these "estimates" do affect one's psyche, so to make light of one's concerns just shows the taunter is a piece of %&$#
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January 12 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
If Zillow is pulling in public records that have the wrong amenities, the wrong square footage etc - one wonders how many owners are scamming the system to keep their property taxes lower. 

A few years ago we sold a house.  The Zestimate was closer to actual sales price than any of the three CMAs received.  
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March 27 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
Owners have the option to claim their home and update facts that are incorrect. Any buyer that thinks that Zestimates are appraisals instead of estimates need a better agent or to do more research themselves before they buy. The same can be said for any buyer or seller who believes their house is worth the tax value.

Zillow is clear about what Zestimates are and are not. Education about the obvious limitations of online AVM estimates is readily available.
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March 27 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
"there are no disclaimers around this Zestimate" suggests that this FAQ has not been read and understood.
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March 27 2011

My background was in journalism, so I question where you got your stats from. Anyone 'walking ' away from their home based on zillow and not a conversation with an attorney or realtor is not doing their homework anyway . And they are not walking away because they dont like the Zillow price, they are walking away because they cant afford to pay their mortgage anymore, because they lost their job or have had some other serious hardship in their life. As realtors, our hearts bleed for these people. But I strongly doubt it is Zillow's fault....and quite frankly I am tired of the blame game. Suing someone or a company is the wrong road to go down, its such a waste of energy. Do something positive for yourself, you will feel better.

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March 27 2011
Profile picture for sakidd1
maybe you dont realize the extent of the damage done.  



I know of people who've stopped paying their mortgage and walked away from their home because zillow told them that the value is worth less than they owe.  

If the recent foreclosure crisis hasn't hurt your business then consider yourself one of the lucky ones.



By the way, I'm not saying that Zillow is entirely responsible for the housing crash, but they play a role and their unwillingness to correct misleading information sets the stage for legal action.
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March 27 2011
Actually its not killing our business, its a guide and clients like to have control. I work with a lot of buyers and they like to 'shop' through Zillow and then send me suggestions,  even though I send them updated listings etc. Yes, its not always accurate, but its a great way for clients to get a 'feel' for whats out there. I personally use it for other parts of the country with the understanding that its only a rough estimate of things. Zillow doesnt pretend to be anything its not....they don't profess to be accurate, they say they are a zestimate. When I want to hone in on something I look for a professional here from Zillow or call one of the offices that are association with my office. I have met some wonderful people on this site, great clients and great agents/Realtors. I have not had 'damages' here, again it has been helpful for many people.
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March 27 2011
Profile picture for sakidd1
have to wonder why Re agents side with Zillow.  Inacurate estimates are killing your business and scaring away customers.  You should be entitled to damages as well.
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March 27 2011
I understand your frustration in some ways, but understand this, Zillow has disclaimers, and all they are doing is provide the public with a zestimate. They don't pretend to be anything they are not, but we agents/Realtors have helped a lot of homeowners who access Zillow with some solid responses to their questions. If you don't like Zillow's estimate, know this, as professionals, we look to our 'professional' mls system to get prices from, not any of the search engines like trulia, zillow etc. Again I am sorry for your frustration but I seriously doubt whether anyone would buy or not buy your home based on these zestimates. Please don't sue, it is such negative energy for you and so expensive. Take more out of life in other ways.
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March 27 2011
Profile picture for sakidd1
There are no disclaimers around the Zestimate.  Zillow's map only shows a photo of my house with a price tag next to it.

The information is intentionally misleading.

please do sue.  Class action would be the best route to go.
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March 27 2011
Actually I was being facetious about suing because I realize the market is awful right now...however, Zillow makes no effort to be accurate.  A few years ago the SAME house was listed as 200,000 ABOVE market value.  They still can't get it right.  Their guess-timate is just that - however when it is so inaccurate, it does hurt people and that is wrong. They just pull a number out of a hat - it's obviously not based on assessed value or an appraisal.  Zillow may have their uses, but appraising homes long-distance when they no nothing of the individual property or neighborhood is a disservice.
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March 11 2011
Haha, find an attorney I guess.  That's how you sue anybody...  I don't think you're going to win.
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March 11 2011
Profile picture for armybren
Crazy....everyone is sue happy...your grounds are laughable.  Have a sparkling day!!
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March 11 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
I'm sure your attorney will be happy to tell you how to do it, at a cost (a very big cost).

Others have tried lawsuits and class action lawsuits unsuccessfully.   Zillow has disclaimers all around the Zestimate.
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March 11 2011
You've posted this before. And, you're just as sweet as before. You received reasonable answers apparently not to your liking. Zillow has a large legal staff. I'm sure if you can afford the retainer, you'll find someone to represent you.

Happy funding, Rudi
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March 11 2011
Since Zillow is free, there is no 'consideration. You can sue your appraiser since there is payment, ie 'consideration' involved.

Get used to you home and its value on the internet.....I cant wait for Google to get involved somehow......maybe they will put values on their Google street scenes...

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March 11 2011
 
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