Zillow’s Zestimates under fire

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Real Estate market valueA Chicago home builder has filed a lawsuit against Seattle-based Zillow. According to the lawsuit, their Zestimates are misleading home buyers with lowball figures.

The Zestimates that appear on the Zillow app have been calculated since 2006 and pose as an accurate appraisal. According to the class-action complaint in Illinois, this is in violation of the legal description of a home’s value as an estimate needs to be conducted by a licensed appraiser.

According to a Zillow spokesperson, Emily Heffter, “We believe the claims, in this case, are without merit. We always say that the Zestimate is a starting point to determine a home’s value, and isn’t an official appraisal. It’s a computer-automated estimate of your home’s value.”

Zillow maintains that their home value estimates are based on public records and other data using a “proprietary formula.” They also argue that they provide a disclaimer about the accuracy of their estimates.

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