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Zillow Faces Attack Over Inaccurate Real Estate Estimates

CNET is reporting real estate info site, Zillow, has had an FTC complaint filed against it for posting misleading home pricing estimates.

In its complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition states that Zillow is “intentionally misleading consumers and real-estate professionals to rely upon the accuracy of its valuation services despite the full knowledge of the company officials that their valuation Automated Valuation Model (AVM) mechanism is highly inaccurate and misleading.”

I think the claim is bogus. Zillow is just a research site. You can’t sue it for publishing real estate estimates, anymore than you can sue Jupiter or Nielsen for their research studies.

  • Rich Dixon

    Zillow is so far off the mark that it is doing real danger to potential sellers who still think their homes are holding value. Not one home in my upscale neighborhood sold after June this year(2006;however, Zillow continues to show increased prices.
    I have repeatedly attempted to contact them so that their errors may be remedied. No response and the gargabe goes on.

  • Rich Dixon

    Sorry for the typo. GARBAGE.

  • http://www.lff.com Fitness guy

    Zillow seems to be right on target in my area in FL. Close enough that i would have save money vs. using a real estate broker.

  • RE Developer

    To all the internet nay sayers- This is the new wave of economic impression. Our economy is heavily influenced in a very fast way by buzz is created by the internet. You all need to get on the train and learn how to cope with changing times. After all, you baby boomers and retirees are the ones who taught us in elementary school to be visionaries and change the world. So we did and now you are pissed. Welcome to the world you asked for. Now buy some stock, start a blog, and quit your 9-5 and get on the train! Zillow is another attempt at creating a place for advertisers to find prey. as long as the content is interesting, ads will be there. Interesting content doesnt mean it is reliable. You should not rely on a free website for information, and you can’t sue a website for making a prediction.

  • RE Developer

    PS if your home value is lower or higher on Zillow too bad. Are you going to complain about the foresclosure in your neighborhood too? how about the neighbor that has a broken down car in the yard? The value of your property is affected by so many factors out of your control and this has been the case for 100 years- Dont blame a website because it has a value and can be sued-

  • RE Homeowner

    I think zillow is really inaccurate… I just got my home appraised…Yes by real professional!!!! it is worth approx. 400K — getting set to refinance. About 7 months ago when I bought my house it was appraised at 420K. I just looked on Zillow at it claims it is worth 312K. If that is true than I just lost over 100K in about 7 months and it also means I am not eligible to refinance my loan. My house is not old it is in good condition with three car garage, over 8000 sq. ft. lot, built in 2003. So needless to say don’t trust zillow. I find eppraisal.com more accurate than zillow. It’s time for the government to step in and shut down that site or cite/fine them until they get they program to work properly….

    Who did they employ to put their site together? Oversea programmers with no experience in math or real estate appraisal.

  • http://john@drawnandorder.com john

    I think Zillow is accurate it valued my studio loft for what recent homes have sold for in my development. I went to eppraisal.com and my condo was valued at $46,000, That’s no where near the value. The bank recently valued it at over $100,000. when built in 1995 it sold for $65,000. The current market is so fickle your home is only what the buyer is willing to pay. I’m not looking to sell and I’ve had recent offers over $100,000.