Earl Gray's Advice

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Earl Gray wrote:

How come Zillow changes past estimated values... re-writing history?

Answer
Zillow changing PAST estimates IS in fact Monday morning quatrterbacking, and additionally, admitting that the Zillow "Zestimate" graph is useless, because the past can change at any time.   Try that with a stock or bank account... Here is what happens....You could pay exactly what a "Zestimate" says a house is worth today, and come to find a day later that not only does the Zillow estimate say you have drastically overpaid for the house you just bought, but that the entire price history is different than when you looked at it a few days earlier.. The inverse is also true (for sellers).  They could sell their house at precisely what Zillow says it is worth today, only to find a few days later that the "Zestimate" has radically changed, and in fact the entire price history has changed... and (according to Zillow) their house was actually worth much more than they just sold it for.   Zillow can hide behind the legal fine print all they want to win in court when they cause damage to people, but here is the bottom line reality.   If you can't use a price estimate (Zestimate in this case) as a buyer to understand if you are overpaying for a house, or as a seller to make sure you aren't selling your house to cheap, then what good is the "Zestimate"?*hint*  Not much if any.  And with the numerous other built in address and various data errors that materially effect the Zillow formula for estimating (I have seen MANY of these first hand), The "Zestimate" actually does much more harm to both buyers and sellers (the entire market) than it does good.....  Which unfortunately makes the "Zestimate" worse than worthless....  and rather, quite harmful in many cases.  
June 29
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Zillow Zestimate SUCKS
I am a long time investor with many properties and have the benefit of seeing identicsl properties estimated differently, properties loding 1/3 of their value in a day (yes very recently) and much more. I lucky in that I have not had to sell. Others that must move for varipusvreasons are not so fortunate. Their errors take years to fix, and most dont have that luxury. When they must sell at a lower flawed price, it then (erroneously) validates the oncorrect Zestimate. Zillow zestimates are so seriously flawed, they are hurting (and sometimes ruining) real people's lives. It is sad that people take the seriously but they do. When confronted, Zillow back peddles, saying essentially that the Zestimate has no value and should be ignored, but of course people don't. I am surprised they gave not been sued (and lost) for negligence. They certainly have caused great harm. Somebody please sue these hacks. I will gladly join a class action.
August 03 2013
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Has anyone ever filed a lawsuit against Zillow?

Answer
The law suits were specific about the bad data being used for descriminatory lending.  Different than individuals being hurt by bad data (such as paying to much or selling for to little).  I have posted on this issue recently and am getting interested in the subject from that aspect.  I am no attorney, but am going to run it by some real estate lawyers..
February 25 2012
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Posting my "response to responses" here since Zillow wont let me otherwise

Answer
Asian Orange,Speaking of responses and profiles, I see by your repsonses and detailed answerss that you work 'officially or not" for Zillow.  Your answers are discounted as such...
February 25 2012
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Posting my "response to responses" here since Zillow wont let me otherwise

Answer
I have one profile.  I get on, I post.  There are no others.   It wouldnt allow me to post a reply sying "You have already posted a question with this title"  You are welcome how ever to shoot the messenger....
February 25 2012
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Ziilow is flawed and destroys legitimate value... Whay are they not sued?

Answer
"If you really did "data analysis" for a living, you would know that you have "no case", and that the "misinterpretation" is by people like you, rather than the statisticians."You really should do a little reserach.    I analyse data for a fortune 100 company.  I can assure you that MANY cases have been presented (and won) for far less than this.   Though I am no attorneym I know because I have been part of several cases over the years.  You simply have to show:1. They were in error2. The data was presented as having value3. Damage was caused because of the error4. They either new about the error or should have knownPeriod.....
February 25 2012
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Posting my "response to responses" here since Zillow wont let me otherwise
I do data analysis for a living.  The first thing you learn about that kind of analysis is garbage In, garbage out. The second thing you learn is be VERY careful interpreting data, especially as an algorithm (automatic equation).  There are books and examples of errors, consequences and lawsuits made in this area. As an example: early data analysts published a finding that Ice cream caused Polio because more children got it in the summer.  Zillow continues to make both these mistakes.  The data they are using isn't intended (or accurate enough) for what they are doing, and since they have no people to perform data "cleaning" their algorithm creates HUGE errors with no oversight.  These affect real people to the tune of Billions, and their answer is "fix it yourself".   The case I explained is real, and is happening now.  The foreclosed homes (across town) an entire development and those owners don't want to  "move" them as it increases their value.  The poor saps that live in the better neighborhood don't understand what is happening (at least yet) and why their homes are now worth 1/3 of similar houses a mile up the lake. Even when they do, there is nothing they can do as in reality I have been given a year long run around  Zillow uses the Zestimate to market and extol the eyeballs on their site, and runs from the estimates blaming everybody for their published conclusions when they are repeatedly shown as flawed. If a  Zestimate doesn't have value, why is it there?  Obviously the believe it does, and running from that is pabulum doublespeak.   I stand firmly by what I said.  Zilllow should be sued.  Not because I am a disgruntled homeowner who's value has gone down, but because I see clearly what they are doing, the damage it causes, and it is legally wrong.
February 25 2012
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Ziilow is flawed and destroys legitimate value... Whay are they not sued?

Answer
 I do data analysis for a living.  The first thing you learn about that kind of analysis is that the validity of the data is paramount...  Garbage In, Garbage Out..... The second thing you learn is be VERY careful interpreting the data, especially as an algorithm (automatic equation).   There are many books and examples of huge errors made in this area, as well as the consequences (as an example: early data analysts published a finding that Ice cream caused Polio).  Zillow has made and continues to make both these mistakes.  The raw data they are using simply isn't intended (or accurate enough) for use to extrapolate what they are doing, and because they have no people to perform any data "cleaning" their algorithm makes HUGE mistakes.  These mistakes affect real people to the tune of Billions of dollars.   The case I explained is real, and is happening now.  The foreclosed homes (across town) are in there in the dozens (it is an entire development) and there is nobody that wants to "move" them as it increases their value.  The poor saps that live in the better neighborhood don't understand what is happening and why (at least yet).   Its interesting to me to see Zillow use the Zestimate to market themselves and extol the market share and eyeballs that see their site, and then run from the messed up estimates and blame (anybody) for their bad extrapolations and conclusions when they are repeatedly shown as flawed. If they aren't selling the Zestimate as a benefit, why is it there?  Runni9ng from that is pabulum doublespeak.   I stand firmly by what I said.  Zilllow should be sued, and I bet that happens as a class action sometime in the future as the dust settles on the housing market.   It can be shown what they did, how they did it, and intent can be shown based on negligent disregard of people showing them flaws (including me). 
February 25 2012
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Ziilow is flawed and destroys legitimate value... Whay are they not sued?
In my area Zillow is comparing homes in one neighborhood with those from a completely different part of town but with the same street name.  The wrong houses show up stacked the street on the map because they don't know where to put them.  All these houses are  in a foreclosed development.  The real houses are on or near the water and sold between $400k to $880k in 2006.  The wrong houses are selling in the $100K to $200K range.  The "real" houses don't go for sale much, while the "wrong" houses are in foreclosure and are all getting sold in one way or another.  Guess what,  The real houses are now valued in the mid $200K by Zillow. You just have to look at when they were put on Zillow and watch the real house values crater.   If someone has to sell or refinance in the real houses they are screwed because their house is being severely undervalued, and it is Zillows fault!!!  I spoke with Zillow, I got an intern that I painstakingly showed the problem, and when she finally got it said "oh my god, you are right".  She said she was going to "pass it up"  over a year ago and call me.  I never got a call back, no answer now to her email, and when I asked again, Zillow said it was the county's fault because they have streets with the same name.  I explained that the county wasn't using the data to estimate value of homes, they never responded back.  Nothing has changed, and you can see these houses and the entire mess today.  If someone has to sell at the faulty low price, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  Zillow is not taking responsibility for their bad use of data, and therefore is a blight on home ownership for the entire country.  They have destroyed Billions of dollars in value for owners and some smart attorney should start a class action law suite against them.  He would have millions sign on to the class action , and I would be the first.
February 24 2012
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Zillow has dozens of house listed in wrong address and thus compared 2 mine. How do I fix this?

Answer
Zillow had a young intern call me and I discussed the problem with them.   That was several months ago, and nothing has changed.  I'm sorry, but Zillow is useless.  My prediction is that one way or another they go away....
January 11 2011
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