Please Flag this under: Hilarity... Countrywide Loss Mit uses ZILLOW

Education & Training with HD Realty BK662006

I was on the phone with a mitigator at Countrywide, discussing 2 of the listings I have that they are the lender on.  I was trying to be sly and find out what the BPO had come in at (they wouldn't tell me, so I was trying to ask different hi/low questions to get a hint.) and get a guage on how acceptable the offers I had submitted were.

I was just about to give up when he said: "We use Zillow to value homes, how is your offer compared to Zillow?"

I couldn't control myself, Bad Andy had taken over and blurted out: "You've go to be kidding!"

oops, remove foot from mouth and try to regain control of the conversation...

I pulled really quick and told him that Zillow was way off... it said the value was over $300,000, and I've had the houses on the market for almost 6 months, starting at 279, then 269, then 259, and then 239.  Since day one I've been getting offers between 180-220. 

$300,000 my butt!

This is the intelligence level of the people we're up against!  If someone at Countrywide would sit down and compare 10, yes, just 10 of their recently sold REO properties to what Zillow SAID they were worth, they'd probably see that Zillow is nowhere close to reality.


Andy's Billion $ bank bailout:

According to, in the month of February there were 290,631 foreclosure filings in the US.

If a lender rep pulled a Zillow on each of them, they spent over $363,000  in February's how:

290,631 X 5 minutes = 1,453,155 minutes spent on Zillow / 60 minutes = 24,219.25 hours.

Even if the average mitigator makes $10/hour, when you add in taxes and bene's it's about $15.

24,219.25 hours x $15/hour = $363,288.75 in wages to search the totally useless Zillow site. 

and that's not even counting office space, desks, telephone lines, computers, internet access, etc!


Hey Countrywide, if you (or any other lenders) are reading this... What buyers are willing to pay in the open market is the value of the house!  We just want to make your job easier and not have the buyer, seller, you, and I wasting a bunch of time!  (by the way, we've had this FULL FILE in at countrywide since December 2nd!  Still no answer!)

Thanks for listening to my rant.


p.s. Seriously, hit the little red flag by the "comments" section and flag this under "hilarity", I know it's not really funny, but "imbecility" was not a category to choose from!

p.p.s. To subscribe to my weekly e-zine, visit




Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Donald Bradbury 03/16/2009 12:53 PM
  2. Beth Thoma Robinson 03/17/2009 01:04 PM
  3. Sheri Spain 03/18/2009 12:02 AM
  4. Steve Facella 03/18/2009 02:34 AM
  5. Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group 10/18/2009 10:48 PM
  6. Michael Dougherty 11/21/2009 12:34 AM
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Michael Barrow
Keller Williams Realty - San Diego Metro - San Diego, CA
Realtor, San Diego CA Real Estate

And we wonder why Countrywide failed...

Mar 18, 2009 11:02 AM #135
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

My Countrywide short is coming up on a year now.  The value of the house hasn't been the problem, though.  They just keep asking me to re-send documents I've already sent. How about we all share with each other which banks are easy to work with, and we can stop wasting our time on the others?

Mar 18, 2009 05:45 PM #136
Tamara Dorris
Master Your Market Real Estate Coaching - Carmichael, CA

Hi Bad Andy,


I guess I am Bad Tamara :-)  I tell my real estate college class that zillow is not even an option and not to mention the word in my class.

oh vey!

Great post, by the way and congrats on the feature!


Mar 19, 2009 07:52 AM #137
Christine Frazier, ERA Old South Prop IncPensacola Fl

Whoo Hooo! I've been saying that Zillow is most always wrong since the first day I heard about their existence.  It breaks me up when I hear a buyer or seller quote their statistics.  I go there and check them out once and a while after I have done a complete CMA, so I KNOW they are wrong!  There will never be a replacement for a boots on the ground Realtor.  I salute all you hardworking brokers.  This too shall pass.

Mar 19, 2009 07:04 PM #138
Lynn Kenton
Troop Real Estate Ventura - Ventura, CA
Ventura Real Estate

I want to stick needles in my eyes when a seller says "Well, on Zillow..." They may be okay for a cookie cutter tract home with average ammenities, they're just throwing numbers at the wall.

My own home didn't even exist on Zillow until last year! And by the way, it was built in 1990- you'd think they had their records up to date before then. Another rental we own is consistently valued at 25 -30% over what it should be.   

Mar 20, 2009 06:19 AM #139
Lumi Ispas
Century 21 SGR - Chicago, IL

I had several offers where the lender told me their BPOs came way higher than the market value of the home. I kept assuming the bank was using either agents that are not familiar with Chicago area or new agents in the business.

I always have to send them my own CMAs and work with them to convince them which of the prices is closer to the real value.

This is some information!!!

Mar 20, 2009 04:56 PM #140
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

In the last month I've noticed that they are using a computer system to determine value, and have actually declined some short sales without the BPO. I guess we just have to roll with the punches.

Apr 07, 2009 11:39 AM #141
Cheryl Powell - The Powell Team
RE/MAX Executive - The Powell Team - Harrisburg, NC
Concord,Harrisburg & Charlotte NC Area Real Estate

WOW Andy, I can hardly believe my eyes!  I can't fathom the idea that Countrywide actually thinks Zillow is the best way to determine the market value of their pre-foreclosures... that's absolutely ludicrous!

Apr 15, 2009 03:11 PM #142
Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

I had two short sales submitted and got denied by BofA the very next day as they thought the value should be X dollars. I asked how they got that number without a BPO and they said that they couldn't tell me. I am guessing now!


Apr 22, 2009 05:53 PM #143
Tisha Lawrence
Maximum One Realty-Fayette-Henry-Clayton-Fulton - Fayetteville, GA
South Metro Atlanta Agent 404-275-8179

I guess we have to be prepared. Go on zillow and do an zestimate. This way you can hit the nail on the head when trying to get what the bpo came back at. You can tackle it in a different way.

Jun 14, 2009 02:02 PM #144
Anna Stout
F.C.Tucker Co.-Carmel/Westfield IN Homes for Sale - Westfield, IN

Thanks for the tip. I'm starting the process on one now.....I better check ZILLOW.COM before I engage with the loss mitigator! lol

Sep 01, 2009 08:26 AM #145
Beth Larsen
RE/MAX Sedona - Sedona, AZ
Sedona Arizona

Judy you ask why a BPO and not an answer: penny wise, but pound foolish!

Zillow is zometimes close, zometimes far off the mark...and zometimes just DEAD WRONG.

It sure doesn't make things easier, though.

Sep 20, 2009 03:08 PM #146
Angela Blackman
Keller Williams Tampa Properties - Tampa, FL

I knew it!! This makes perfect sense if you've done any Countrywide/BOA short sales! I have attempted about 10 over the past year and a half, and only 2 have closed. The others were flat rejected before they would even look at the file to review a repair estimate or any other pertinate documentation, much less order a BPO to see a more accurate view. RIDICULOUS!

Oct 16, 2009 05:17 PM #147
Brandy Speno
Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors - Mount Snow, VT

Add an arror facotr in for rural states and zillow can be a real deal killer....

Jan 20, 2010 07:10 AM #148
Jeffrey Smith
Author of 'Realtors Guide To Short Sale Success - Eustis, FL
Short Sale Education

Nothing countrywide does surprises me anymore. I've had 16 deals with them and my closing ratio is one fourth what it is with other companies. I no longer do business with them to the point of turning down listings and telling the people to save their money for about a year before they'll finally be foreclosed.

Feb 04, 2010 10:19 PM #149
Christina ONeal
At Home Real Estate Group - Ripon, CA
Realtor - Ripon California

That is unbelievably crazy!!!! I am going to right now to see what value they think one of my current short sales is.  Thanks for the scary tip :)

Apr 09, 2010 02:49 AM #150
Christina ONeal
At Home Real Estate Group - Ripon, CA
Realtor - Ripon California

Oh my, zillow has mine at $216k & they are selling in the area from $170k-200k (NUTS)

Apr 09, 2010 02:53 AM #151
Perri Cauley
Mortgage Resource Plus, Inc. - Birmingham, MI

What banks are doing absolutely amaze me.  They are so disconnected from the real Reat Estate market it is a wonder anything gets closed.  Zillow is so far off base both high and low that is should not even be a factor in the process.  Why do we need AMC for appraisals now save the buyer money and just pull up Zillow.....incredible!

Apr 26, 2010 06:37 AM #152
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

You're right, this should be filed under hilarity for sure. Maybe also, "You've got to be kidding me".

Thanks for the post as sad as it was.


Aug 18, 2010 10:39 AM #153
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

I try to stay away from CountyWide if I possibly can. When are they going to learn..

Nov 15, 2012 05:39 AM #154
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Andrea "Andy" Tolbert

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