Major error on your "Zestimate"

Dear Mr. Rascoff,
If what you are saying is true...you want to help real estate agents nationwide...then why is it that your company does not have the ability or desire to set straight a very bad and misleading "Zestimate" on 16284 Tewksbury Dr, Truckee, CA?
My clients acquired this property at the bottom of the market when the main home was merely a shell, the "Tea House" had major water damage due to faulty chimney flashing and much much more. The original person who started this project passed away unexpectedly and left her estate owing over 8 million in debt just from this property. After several years of lying dead on the market the offering price was reduced to 1 million and my clients purchased it knowing they would need to invest millions more to complete it.
Since the acquisition they have rebuilt the main home and completed all interior work from the ground up. The added a 8 car detached heated garage with RV/Bus storage plus carports along with 600K worth of landscaping. Needless to say they now have over 7 million invested and there is at least another million to go before all work has been completed. 
I understand Zillow gets it's "Zestimate" from past sales and current rises or declines in the market but does not take into account rare but real properties like this. Your "Zestimate" is a joke and makes Zillow look really bad to all the agents with any knowledge of this property. 
After sending numerous emails asking your company to look into this all I ever got was "this property is flagged" and nothing more. How can any agent in good sense advise their clients to even look at Zillow? 
Tim LoDolce

  • July 28 2014 - Truckee
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

Answers (3)

Profile picture for Blue Nile
Posting on the forum is not a good way to contact the CEO.  You might want to use the "contact" button on his profile page instead:
http://www.zillow.com/profile/spencer/

But personally, I'm "baffled" about what you are complaining about.... it CLEARLY states on over 100 MILLION webpages on the site that there is a 30% chance that the "present market value" is NOT within the posted range!   So, there is a statistical probability that some of the 30% that don't fall within the range could have a "present market value" of 1000 times or more the posted estimate.  You probably even have a higher probability of that than winning 200 million dollars on a State Lottery.

All "buyers" understand that an AVM is not an appraisal, and that it doesn't claim to be the "present market value"; and they base offers on what else is available in their price range, NOT based on what some person or machine states it "MIGHT" be worth!  Why do some Realtors® have so much trouble understanding the statistics?

Perhaps because they offer "FREE" CMA's?  And then they claim that "you get what you pay for"?  Meaning their CMA's are "worthless"?

21 BILLION estimates are posted on this website each year, at NO COST to anyone that wants to see it.  How about providing 21 BILLION CMA's for every random person that wants to call your phone or send you an Email?

As they say, if you have a better method of doing AVM's, perhaps you should start your own website and provide an alternative?  There are thousands of AVM's in use, and they have been around over 20 years.  One prominent patent for AVM's held by First American Core Logic already expired and is now "public domain".  Zillow has less than 10% market share of AVM's in the U.S.  There are plenty of other sources for machine generated opinions of APPROXIMATE value.

For some examples of other "free" ones, see the thread:
http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/What-is-the-most-complete-list-of-Home-Estimating-websites-that-you-have-seen/413475/
  • July 28 2014
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for wetdawgs
It seems as though Zillow has calculated the Zestimate for the property in question exactly like they do with all other properties.  Sales prices and tax prices weigh heavily.   Zillow has no mechanism to track remodeling, repairing and rebuilding unless reflected in a tax reassessment or a new sales prices.   Statistical models never deal with outliers well and public data have the repairs and remodeling invisible.

What you appear to be asking for is an in person appraisal.   Zillow doesn't do that.   Nor do any of the websites with AVMs.   If they did for selected homes, they'd lose all consumer credibility.   Many agents laugh at Zillow, but the same agents aren't willing to step forward with the accuracy of their own pre-market CMAs.

If you  have some statistical valid modeling experience that would account for repairs, remodeling and upgrades when applied to a model for 100,000,000+ homes that recalculates 3x a week, I'm sure Stan would love to hear from you.

I noticed that nothing in the property description highlights the property having major updates in the last couple of years.   I also noticed that you've chosen not to share an in-person appraisal value in the "owner estimate" section.  For such a high priced house, both of these are rather surprising. 



  
  • July 28 2014
  • 2Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for zuser20140601164528808
Good luck brother.. I have been trying to contact "Zillow" (we all know it's just a computer somewhere with no human control?)  My property is on some wild plunge for apparently no reason at all in comparable properties.  I am now resorting to posting all over this site to see if I will get some response.  I asked them if maybe an attorney needs to look at this and see if their absurd pricing is destroying the perceived value of my property..

Oklahoma Crude
  • July 28 2014
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.