Zillow’s Zestimates are really just estimates, appeals court rules

Upholds lower court decision that the online valuations aren’t meant to be precise appraisals

TRD CHICAGO /
Feb.February 19, 2019 09:00 AM

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff (Credit: Getty Images and Pixabay)

A federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling that Zillow Group’s “Zestimates” aren’t meant to be precise appraisals of a home’s value.

Last year, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the online brokerage did not violate consumer fraud laws through its use of the much-maligned online valuations, and earlier this month, a federal appeals court upheld that ruling, according to the Cook County Record.

The suit by a group of Chicago-area homeowners had alleged Zillow leads homebuyers to believe Zestimates are precise calculations of a home’s current market value, when in fact they’re often inaccurate.

One plaintiff said he listed his home for almost $1.5 million, but alleged a Zestimate of $1.33 million scared off potential buyers.

St. Eve had ruled Zestimates were merely an estimate of the market value of a property, and said Zillow’s website makes that clear. The appeals court agreed, rejecting the plaintiffs’ appeal.

The lawsuit is not the only legal fight surrounding Zestimates, which residential brokers say make it harder when it comes time to set a listing price with clients. A lawsuit filed in New Jersey claimed Zillow conceals Zestimates on residential listings at the request of brokerages that have “contracts” with the site. [Cook County Record] — John O’Brien

 

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios

City to redevelop land near 95th Red Line Station, Chicago’s slumping housing market gets slight reprieve: Daily digest

From left: One Bennett Park, 403 North Wabash Avenue, 1109 West Washington Boulevard (Credit: Related and Redfin)

Here are the priciest home sales in Chicago last week

Chicago ultra-luxury homes see major price cuts, more Sears closings: Daily Digest

Homes in Chicago's Archer Heights neighborhood (Credit: iStock)

Chicago Cheat Sheet: Chicago home value growth hits 3-year low, another suburban corporate exodus…& more

Michael Larsen and an aerial view of Chicago (Credit: Linkedin, iStock)

Amid Chicago’s luxury housing market lull, there is life in Winnetka

Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th) and the 606 trail (Credit: Facebook, David Wilson via Flickr)

Alderman wants to downzone properties near the 606 to halt development frenzy

Perkins & Will architect Greg Tamborino and his winning prototype for the Disruptive Design Competition

Chicago’s next iconic starter-home could look like this

Brothers Jon and Julian Mickelson and 606 East Woodland Park Avenue

After buying bulk of Bronzeville condo complex, two brothers decide against deconversion

arrow_forward_ios