Profile picture for contactus708175

READY TO SUE ZILLOW FOR INACCURATE INFORMATION!

Why will you not change your initial view information on a home when it is HIGHLY inaccurate. I'm tired of emailing you guys and getting absolutely NO response! So, I thought I would put my response out for anyone/everyone who comes to this Discussion Topic.

PROPERTY #1 You show: 921 Menlo Dr, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
2 beds / 1.0 baths / 480 sq ft / single family / built 1963

ISSUES:
#1 - This is a 1 1/2 bathroom home.

#2 - You guys are SUPPOSEDLY real estate experts; well, you must not be if you think it's conceivable to have a two-story, 2 bedroom home with only 480 sq ft.


PROPERTY #2 You show: 43377 Sheephorn Rd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
1 beds / 1.0 baths / 840 sq ft / single family / built 1966

If this wasn't a two story house, I'd agree with your 1 bedroom/1 bathroom, but as you can tell from the pictures, it's a two-story house and there are 2 bedrooms upstairs.


What you guys MUST realize; or are ignorant if you FAIL to realize, is that if a potential buyer sees your statistics along with the selling price, they won't even consider opening the details to see the TRUTH! As well, your facts make your comps inaccurate in calculating the $ per sq/ft. You may just be the reason why a seller missed that one perfect buyer!

Don't hide behind public record when an owner can provide TRUE INFO through legal documents.
  • August 26 2007 - US
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Answers (85)

Profile picture for DHIInc
They are already getting sued, on a large scale! They are acting like unlicensed (& incompetent) appraisers, which is the basis for one suit going on now.
  • August 29 2007
  • 6Yes

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Profile picture for RentingPatiently

are you guys serious?

 

If so, that's sad.

  • April 24 2008
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Profile picture for marksherwood

Yes.  Very sad.  Any informed judge, I hope would determine that values are based on a mathmatical formula... any consumer should know that these are "ball park" estimates based on difficult to determine data.

 

Folks who are upset should just relax and appreciate Zillow for what it is... simply a site that presents values that aren't "estimates" they are "Z-estimates" ... something kind of like an estimate but, with out the personalized promise of accuracy.  If you want more accuracy... you should hire an appraiser.

 

 

  • April 25 2008
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Profile picture for joexercise
I would also like to get in on the lawsuit. The information on Zillow is inaccurate for my property as well. How do I get it changed?
  • April 27 2008
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Profile picture for Chard2
for those who say you shouldn't take Zillow seriously, I guess their inaccurate information is not affecting you.  Though some of us may be smart enough to realize it's a fair tool to use, many American's will take their estimates at face value.. thus creating hardship for many of us.  In my neighborhood, they estimate some homes at $296 s.f. and some at $230 s.f., (next door to each other, same s.f. and similar age and upgrades).. this is clearly inaccurate and can cause potential buyers to flee.  Yes, a good tool for some, for others could be a nightmare.  I think if Zillow is allow to make THEIR estimates public, they should be held accountable for accuracy.
  • January 05 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
Zillow has some of my home facts incorrect, but no big deal. The information is also incorrect on my tax assessors website (where Zillow gets the information from) because it was reported by the builder when permits were pulled, but not updated when I added upgrades/modifications during the construction process.

The hard part for me to understand is that everyone is upset with Zillow because so many people are too stupid to understand what a Zestimate is and how Zillow gets it's information. In short, it's Zillow's fault that visitors to the site are stupid?

If I apply the "reasonable person rule", then it makes sense that a reasonable person would understand what Zillow is, where it gets its information from, and that a "Zestimate" is not an "appraised value".

Just a thought...

Why not also sue the appraisers who just a few short years ago appraised houses at values that they will not come close to in the foreseeable future?
  • January 05 2010
  • 6Yes

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Profile picture for nwhome.us

Go to the Zillow FAQ link in the menu to the left. Click.

Go to the Most Popular Zillow Questions. Click

View any of the videos there to help you better understand how to use or adjust the values.

Ergo: Zillow doesn't do any site evaluation, YOU DO.
Before you waste money on an attorney, know your enemy.

Actually I was thinking of starting a class action against Goldman Sacks, or some other hedge fund company, to recover some of my home equity.  Any takers?

  • January 05 2010
  • 6Yes

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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
FYI...

I checked CyberHomes and they have the same (incorrect) info as Zillow, just less of it.

You might want to consider suing them too, as long as you're on this crusade.
  • January 07 2010
  • 0Yes

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Profile picture for agentblu15
also important to note for everyone that freaks out about info on zillow-- it takes literally 45 seconds to edit the facts/stats on your property once you've claimed it-- so if you find incorrect info on your home, and you're truly THAT enraged and distraught over the issue, just claim the home, edit the info, and then get on with your life.
  • January 07 2010
  • 4Yes

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wow, the thread that never dies!

Anyway, when you are through editing your home info on zillow, contact your local property tax authority and find out exactly what info they are providing as public record (info that is in the data file zillow is picking up and using).  In many, many cases the inaccurate upload info will correct on the next zillow' upload once you fix the source.  Of course, in some cases you may not want to correct the source - I have always suspected some of the people yelling about inaccuracies on zillow are enjoying paying lower property taxes based on those inaccuracies.
  • January 07 2010
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Dear Zillow, 

You are making home buyers and sellers less educated, creating an unstable market because you are showing comps that are extremely inaccurate. I'm all okay with you providing public info of homes that have recently sold. However, your "Zestimate" is the worst creation that I have seen. 

I gave a CMA report to a buyer today with recommended values on two homes she was interested in writing offers on. One home had not been updated since 1950 and the other was fully remodeled and well taken care of. Because she wanted to also do her own research to try to be an educated buyer, she went on zillow and the outdated home gave a value that was $445,000 (actual value $375,000 but has been listed at $399,000 for 5 months). The other home which was renovated was valued at $350,00 with actual value being $400,000. 

Because of this now she is reconsidering and thinking of making an offer of $400,000 for the old home and $365,000 for the updated one... Providing inaccurate information and impersonating a certified appraiser should be illegal. 

In addition, they should also make the people that get paid for writing blogs on this website revel themselves so that consumers are not misinformed.
  • May 16 2010
  • 1Yes

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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
If an agent is worth anything, they will be able to explain to their client the difference between an estimate (whether Zillow, Cyberhomes, etc.), a CMA, and an appraisal. Also, they should be able to explain to their client that none of these are definitive. After all, doesn't "educating and guiding the consumer" define a major benefit that the agent is supposed to bring into the RE transaction?
 
If you aren't able to accomplish this, then don't blame Zillow for your inability to establish effective communication with your client.
  • May 16 2010
  • 2Yes

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Its not just this client and after explaining they understand. But, many clients are now going directly to the listing agent to purchase a home because of technology and they are getting misinformed information via your website. 

Point in case, socal_engr, are you not paid by zillow for your blogs? Maybe by answering this question consumers can understand your position.

  • May 16 2010
  • 3Yes

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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
@ Patrick

No, I am not paid by Zillow for any of my posts. Nor do I receive compensation in any other form. I started on this forum a few years back because I found it an interesting place to ask questions of mortgage lenders.

If you were to read through all of my posts, you will find that I am pretty much an advocate of consumers educating themselves about any business transaction. And, part of that education entails utilizing multiple sources of information and a significant amount of their own personal grey matter.

Unfortunately, my experience is that too many consumers don't want to put in the required effort. They see information on the internet, so it must be true. An agent told them 'X", so that must be true. A lender told them "Y", so that must also be true. It takes much less effort for a consumer to conduct business this way, and it has the added value of built-in-scapegoats when someone's input is incorrect or misinterpreted (i.e., no ownership of bad decisions on the consumer's part).

So, my basic position is, and has been, "caveat emptor". If the consumer does not take the time to educate themselves on the basics of an business transaction they participate in, they are asking to be taken to the cleaners.
  • May 16 2010
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
I'm with socal on this one.
Zillow's Zestimate in no different than any other objection that we encounter every time we show a property.  If you don't know how to respond to it, it isn't their fault it's yours.  Really explore the FAQ tab and the Most Frequent Zillow Questions there.  They give a tremendous amount of support for everyone involved in the process of buying or selling a home.  There's so much informaton there that it makes this thread look sort of worn.
Zillow employees also travel around the country frequently to give support for agents in using their platform.  Search for events in the Blog section.
Hey,
Please let me know when Zillow starts handing out paychecks for this work on the boards. It wold be a great help!
  • May 16 2010
  • 3Yes

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Profile picture for sunnyview
Mr. Hale, I do not believe that socal works for Zillow and posts by users of this website are not a "blog". You may be angry because Zillow refused to allow you to post a huge self promotional contact block with each of your responses. Zillow provides people with information that they can ask an agent about. Professionals field questions about different opinions of value all time so I do not understand why that is even an issue. Posters like socal don't make the forum policies, Zillow does.

If you feel so negatively about the site, maybe you would be better suited to posting on Trulia. I would hate to have you compromise on self promotion. You are entitled to your opinion, but thankfully the internet in America is full of choices.
  • May 16 2010
  • 2Yes

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Profile picture for nwhome.us
Oh, sunnyview, you must be getting really rich from this work!
You are rich!
  • May 16 2010
  • 1Yes

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Profile picture for hpvanc
I nominate Sunnyview for non-employee of the month!  Probably should be every month for the 14 months I have been here.

I believe if you look, Zillow employees do have a tag on there name that reads "Zillow" in the same spot yours reads "Agent".  I don't work for Zillow either, but I believe these are discussion boards designed for asking questions and having ongoing discussions.  Blogs are usually for publishing information like an article or story, not for questions and discussion, although many of them do allow for comments that can look like a discussion board after the published post.  I don't believe that Zillow has Agent blogs, just employee and lender that I have noticed.

  • May 16 2010
  • 1Yes

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What exactly did you expect for free?  Did you suppose that Zillow would send out a licensed appraiser to each and every sold and listed property so you could mine the information in your spare time?

The judge and lawyers will laugh this case out of court, along with the Automated Valuation Companies who actually provide a modified service minus the appraiser, for about $250 per "appraisal".

Caveat emptor
  • May 16 2010
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
hpvanc,
If you go to the Zillow Blog, and search for events, (more partner relations than events) you will find schedules for a variety of different venues.
I thought it might be helpful for Patrick to learn a little more about Zillow in person.
  • May 16 2010
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Actually, I didn't expect anything for free because I know zillow makes its money off of advertising and creates this "free blog" section for people with the end goal of helping zillows seo to gain more advertising revenue. 

Socal - I did read your blogs and I am glad you are so supportive of everything zillow....from the zestimate to all of the policies. I think zillow should pay people like you who spend so much of their free time on here blogging and generating more traffic to this website.

Sunnyview - Yes, my huge self promotion of putting my contact info on a post that socal posted on was horrible. I am so sorry everyone. After a post on zillow, make sure you don't put your name or phone number...well at least on a post that socal writes on.

For all real estate professionals - I started in real estate at 18 and am now a broker at 24 with over 70 agents on my team generating millions in sales a year. I teach professionls how to max their dollars and not waste money on technology that doesn't work. Yes, zillow generates traffic and unfortunately/fortunately you may generate leads. However, make sure that if you get a lead from zillow, you let them know how inaccurate the zestimate is. As socal says "caveat emptor" or "buyer be ware" to zillow.

Consumers - If you want advice that is not skewed, don't trust the  "zestimate". Even the people posting above agree it is not accurate. Contact a local professional that knows your market.

Best Wishes Everyone.
  • May 17 2010
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Profile picture for hpvanc
NWHome:

Looks like a good place for Patrick to start.  However he still doesn't seem to know the difference in how a discussion forum versus a blog operates.  I think some of his confusion is based on that.

As to his questions about the accuracy of the zestimate and it's effect on his buyers and sellers, it may be that he simply has not sufficiently earned their trust, and that is why they are using Zillow to 2nd guess him.  I know this has been covered in the blogs by Spencer Rascoff, if Zillow has accurate timely feeds for his area (if it doesn't that should be obvious to anyone that digs a little deeper than the landing page for a property) he might gain by taking 5 minutes to show those people how to use the create estimate tool to verify his CMA's and help to build that trust.
  • May 17 2010
  • 1Yes

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A great example why people should hire true real estate professionals. They are called REALTORS. Zillow is a wonderful site to advertise yuor homes for sale and for buyers to browse listings. But if you want true representation when selling or buying a home depend on a REALTOR.
  • May 18 2010
  • 1Yes

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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
@ Jeff - Having a Realtor® tag means nothing with-respect-to guarantees of performance. I've had ridiculous valuations from CMAs, prepared by Realtors®. Because I had already done some homework, I questioned the valuations (often higher than mine, imagine that?) based on information I had independently obtained and, surprise, the Realtor® CMAs were revised to more realistic numbers.

All this really means is that "caveat emptor" is still the guiding phrase that should always be in play. And, with the access to information now possible with the Internet, there is less-and-less excuse for consumers not to be informed.
  • May 18 2010
  • 0Yes

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Profile picture for mustang2525
What some of you "experts" don't understand is banking facilities "Wells Fargo" for example, actually will use these estimates in determination of a home equity line of credit.  I had a physical appraisal done on my home that returned a value of $585,000 when I refinanced my home with WELLS FARGO and 5 months later it was $425,000 on this site and the bank canceled the home equity line of credit siting this site and the significant reduction of value posted on this site.  So this does impact more than the buyers.  Luckily I didn't need the line of credit but these "estimates" can also seriously impact the ability of the refinancing of a home. It is also interesting there is no ability to send Zillow a physical appraisal done by a certified appraiser when this site is significantly undervaluing a property.

This site is no different than the 3 credit bureaus that make material errors and impact peoples credit worthiness and in turn make them pay much higher rates.  The difference with those sites is they have a tool in place where YOU CAN FIX THE PROBLEM.  Updating "data" on your home does not always solve the problem.  

For all the supporters of this site, why shouldn't they be held liable for significant misrepresentations???  If my company misrepresents things that have financial impact to an individual/company I can be sued for damages.  Why not this site??
  • August 20 2010
  • 1Yes

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Profile picture for lynrosect
Actually, it seems as if Wells Fargo is in the wrong for gathering financial information from an unofficial source.  Cancelling your line of credit and citing a Zestimate as the reason for the cancel?  Wow! 
  • August 20 2010
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Profile picture for yahui168
If Wells Fargo asked a horse for an horse-timate on your house, would you shoot the horse?
  • August 20 2010
  • 0Yes

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Profile picture for mustang2525
If the horse developed a website, portrayed itself as an expert in appraising houses and made money from this website based on inaccurate information, I would not have to shoot it but should be able to pursue legal action for damages this "expert" caused.

yahui168 its called  libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image.

The point of my post wasn't to bash WF (Thats a whole different topic)it was to show that Zillow does not have an effective tool or a process to CORRECT grossly incorrect information.  Regardless of "who" uses the information, if it causes harm, they should and do have liability.  There "published words" have obviously given some homes "a negative image".  For some who are selling in this incredibly poor environment, this site with gross inaccuracies on a property, no viable way to correct the inaccuracies,  could directly be impacting potential buyers and purchase price of that home.

  • August 20 2010
  • 1Yes

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Profile picture for yahui168
I asked the horse if his estimates are any good and the horse said, "Neigh, I'm not an appraiser, I'm only a horse. To be honest, sometimes my estimates look no better than what came out my other end."

http://www.zillow.com/wikipages/What-is-a-Zestimate/
  • August 20 2010
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Profile picture for mrsres
I also would like to add that I have experienced more than one bank using this as a tool and was considering legal action.  My home seems to be undervalued because it is based upon the selling price of the home - ours was purchased in 1993 so the last selling price is significantly lower than my neighbors - with the exact same house but smaller lot (and yes, the tax rolls show that) who purchased in 2001.  For me, the damages are not in a potential sale, but in my ability to take a certain amount of equity out and pay a lower rate because of an erroneous ltv ratio. 
 
  • September 12 2010
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