Zillow faces lawsuit over home pricing estimates

Posted at 7:11 PM, May 30, 2017

Valley Realtors say Zillow can confuse buyers with its home value information.

If you've ever bought, sold or rented a house, chances are you've looked at Zillow's estimated market price, also know as a Zestimate.

The popular real estate website is now facing a class action lawsuit.

Plaintiffs claim Zillow acts as an unlicensed appraiser and the company should ask homeowners before publicizing values.

ABC15 asked local realtors about the accuracy of Zestimates. They say market prices sometimes are $30,000 to $40,000 dollars different from the Zestimates. They say Zillow's computer calculations don't take into account a property's condition or pricey upgrades.

"It's impossible for Zillow to know a home has travertine floors and granite countertops and a state-of-the art kitchen," Mesa realtor Leila Woodard said.

"What I don't like about Zillow is the inaccuracies with the properties that are there and the values they are giving," East Valley realtor Marge Peck said. "They [Zillow] are not real estate agents; they are not appraisers."

Real estate agents say only someone with knowledge of a community and experience with evaluating home conditions can provide an accurate value for a house.

According to Zillow's website, Zestimates are more accurate in Phoenix than any other metro area. Company statistics show six out of every 10 Valley homes sell for prices within 5% of their Zestimates. Zillow also makes it clear it is not trying to provide official property appraisals.