THE CASE AGAINST ZESTIMATES--CASE CLOSED??

By
Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896
https://activerain.com/droplet/5gWF

THE CASE AGAINST ZESTIMATES--CASE CLOSED??

I know this is an emotional issue, at least it is to me and everyone else out there who have been harmed by the Zestimates put out there as valid assessment of value on a piece of real estate.

 The public is up in arms--as much as they can be with so little knowledge about what Z has really done and is doing with information about their properties they are trying to sell! The article here, by Geekwire tells the whole story. 

If you want to be informed you MUST read this: JUDGE DISMISSES CASE AGAINST ZESTIMATE IN ILLINOIS 

The case was brought forward again, and again it was dismissed--Turns out Z has a huge lobby in Washington!

Some of you may remember my posts early on as I went through my own struggle with these 2 websites.

As a frame of reference for my outspoken posts against the Z platform, I want to tell you about my own experience with them.

In 2009 I decided I had to sell my home here in the Village of Southampton. After listing the house on our in-house listing system I found out that it was appearing on Z and T and the information was inaccurate....They were using my rental price as a sale price!! I had cars lined up in front of  my house all day--looking and wondering how this house, so near the ocean was under $100k!! 

This went on for months and there was no way to correct the problem--to take the listing down in other words, even by removing it from their system! They (Z and T) had the property information incorrect as it was and that was it.

So,I was forced to go on to the websites as the owner and correct the information. That is exactly what they wanted!

GOTCHA!! That is how it works--I was tricked into going on their site and giving them my data--ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT about my property!! See how cunning they are?

The next thing I knew, they were showing the price correctly but right under the real price was what was called a "Zestimate" and the price shown was way off the real value!

I tried to again fix the pricing problem ---nothing! I fought them tooth and nail and they never did adjust the zestimate to anywhere close to the real value of my property.

I ended up taking a whole lot less than the real market price of the property when it did sell in 2013--because of the crazy, inaccurate and damaging "Zestimate". The buyers who contacted me or other local agents were all informed and fore-armed with the Zestimate price as a tool to pay the  "real price"!!

SUM AND SUBSTANCE

So that is where this started with me--I have never forgotten the battle I fought, as a homeowner!! As far as I am concerned these tech companies are out to just raid the homeowners property data, take money from the greedy agents who do not want to do the real work to get their own leads and to break the back of all brokerages in the country! All to eventually sell their brand and platform to some other firm and clean up by selling OUR content for BILLIONS to another entity who will, in turn do even more to destroy the real estate brokerage business, using our own content to do it!--

Just watch!!

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Will Hamm 06/30/2018 09:05 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
New York Suffolk County Southampton
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
The Lounge at Active Rain
"Whacked"!!!
Addicted to Active Rain
Bananatude
Tags:
my house didnt sell
zestimate is way off base
the case against zestimates
i fought to get a correct one
case closed
public is up in arms

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Rainer
16,312
Austin At Homebloq
Homebloq - Chicago, IL
Making real estate agents look awesome

Hi Paula - That stinks! Zillow (and everyone else who provides an estimated market value: Realtor, Redfin, etc) really need to be held accountable for the unintended consequences of such. We are certainly aware of the issue (http://snip.ly/k71eug - perhaps that may help?). Best of luck out there. 

Jun 12, 2018 04:38 AM #50
Rainmaker
401,573
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Paula, thanks for laying out the situation with Z from your own experience.

It is obvious from the comments made, that not everyone agrees with you.

Herein lies the problem. We have continued to give our data to Z because the voice to stop it was not loud enough and soon enough.

NAR has been part of that problem. 

At this point in time, it is a very uphill battle to change things.

Jun 12, 2018 06:32 AM #51
Rainmaker
499,619
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Kimo: Thanks for commenting here--I like your ideas and will investigate further...we NEED to come up with alternative ways to do things. The problem is what do we do with those who see fit to give away IP without regard to whom it belongs??? Who does it belong to? The homeowner? The agent who worked so hard to get the lisitng? The owner of the brokerage?. I am afraid what we will come up with when we examine ways to overcome the problem; we may find that it is an even larger one than we thought! 

Jun 12, 2018 07:08 AM #52
Rainmaker
499,619
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Austin: I appreciate your comments here however, in reading your very long blog, and to get to the end where you are obviously"selling" the zestimate, I find my head spinning--There is not one single way to do an appraisal! Each house is different and the more you try to justify the indecency of what Z really does as it relies solely on "data" (that may be right or wrong) from some unknown source, is incomprehensible! As an agent in this profession you should be embarrassed, not complicit in this process....

Jun 12, 2018 07:16 AM #53
Rainmaker
499,619
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

John: I have to agree with you--the damage has been done. But there are ways to look at doing what we as professionals have done over the years; those things that work, that give us a sense of accomplishment and make the buying and selling public satisfied with our work.

Right now we are a spectacle to be wondered at. The consuming public is extremely unhappy with all of us in real estate. We have become villified by the sites that took our data and willingly misrepresent it on their platforms. The vilification comes when we (Not me, BTW!) pay them so much money and then pretend we know what we are doing---when, clearly we do not! It has made agents the villains and the Z,T,S and Rs out there the place where the public goes to get what they think is accurate information! The public has turned its back on brokerage, not realizing that is the intent of Z--to get the public thinking their way, without regard to the outcome. I give it a couple of cycles before the buying and selling public understands the fraud involved with a website that represents itself as an expert in pricing, local sales data and local building and zoning laws and information! 

Jun 12, 2018 07:28 AM #54
Rainer
39,447
John Oman
Newington, CT

What I've read says they want to get sellers to list with their paying agents and no doubt take a cut.   My sources seem very realiable.    

Jun 12, 2018 11:43 AM #55
Rainmaker
499,619
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Hi John: Tell me more; is this realiable source part of Zillow or one of the other sites they own, like Streeteasy?

Jun 12, 2018 12:08 PM #56
Rainer
291,196
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Another excellent topic to discuss. I also enjoyed the feedback.

Jun 12, 2018 12:25 PM #57
Rainmaker
499,619
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Hi Ron: Thanks for reading and commenting...I always get the mos tinteresting comments n my posts--I read them and go back later and read them again. It is not only very entertaining it is also an education!

 

Jun 12, 2018 12:30 PM #58
Rainmaker
552,133
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

You vented feelings honestly in this blog and glad to read it!  That's quite a story about Zillow and your house sale..wow..it was a gotcha!  I will be happy to watch how real estate changes ... from retirement many years from now!

Jun 12, 2018 08:21 PM #59
Ambassador
4,123,057
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Paula

I can certainly enmpathize with you about this...so sorry you had all those hassles. No doubt it's pretty common, however.

I had a home listed in Encinitas (next to the town where I live) and part of the history of sales showed a property over a hundred miles away, and about 20% of the price, that sold a few years prior. The address was very similar and I provided copies of documents that showed this was a different property, but we never could get the data fixed...and that included getting the owner involved. And as for the zestimate...not even remotely close.

Problem is, they talk about how they point out the potential % of errors in the zestimate, but my guess is most people aren't even aware that information exists,where it is, or what it means. The data are still wrong! But the buyers and sellers are believers!

Jeff

Jun 12, 2018 08:31 PM #60
Rainmaker
499,619
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Hi Mary: I think you will see changes much sooner than that! It is a question of how we as a real estate community carry on--If we stay the course then we will fade away. If we take a stand and fight them off I think we will be ok....but there eeds to be some form of organization in order to get the attention we need. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Jun 12, 2018 08:50 PM #61
Rainmaker
499,619
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Hi Jeff: They are aren't they? They don't have the know how to determine when someone says "this house is really worth this much" whether it is the truth or not so they just see it, take it in and absorb the information and it is there in the back of the mind, just hanging out there--Then a time may come when that property may appeal to someone, that information is there and it leaves an impact. It is there for nefarious reasons--I know that for a fact. It is a hook for the seller to bite on and get hooked on, in much the same way that "click bait" works on the human mind. In this case it gets the ire of the owner up and the frustration that follows is nothing short of torture as this owner tries to correct the inaccurate info! I know what that is like! It is there also for the buyer to get "hooked" as well--more click bait only this time it influences all offers. What a nasty bunch of tech wizards---They have it all figured out, don't they? Thanks for reading and commenting, Jeff...

Jun 12, 2018 09:00 PM #62
Rainmaker
213,851
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Wow, I didn't realize this was such a controversy, but am learning here!  Yes I have noted our house has fluctuated in value over the last few months and have not been able to make sense of it.  Normally other sales nearby, if higher, tend to raise the value of adjacent properties.  I think the Z system is not accurate enough but I can see many people looking at Z for guidance as a first estimate of selling value before contacting a Realtor.  Thanks for the info Paula.

Jun 14, 2018 10:02 AM #63
Rainmaker
499,619
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Hi John: You are right--the public really has no idea that they are being duped! That is the issue that the state here is having right now--people are complaining and filing class action lawsuits and it makes no difference to Z et al--they just keep plugging away because until and IF the public as a whole catch on to the ways of this company they will continue to haul in the big bucks from the agents and brokerages who are stupid enough to continue to pay the beast!

Jun 14, 2018 10:25 AM #64
Rainmaker
66,345
Ricardo Mello
Manhattan Miami Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
Manhattan & Miami Real Estate Agent

You are right John

Jun 16, 2018 01:29 PM #65
Rainmaker
463,914
Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Guy

Hi Paula, Sorry you had so much troule with the big Z. I am always telling my buyers to stay away from this inaccurate site listing sold homes as still available. I'm also trying to wean seller's off the site as well by pointing out the inaccuaracies, but I have had some that can't resist watching the value of their home change on the site almost daily, or weekly, even if it's not accurate.

Jun 30, 2018 01:50 PM #67
Rainmaker
499,619
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Hi Michael: Yes, there is an addictive quality to those sites and yes, I do believe the techno-parasites are behind the mechanism that triggers the addiction!(much like the tabacco firms fromm years ago!) I think you can tell I am not a fan in any form! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Jun 30, 2018 03:22 PM #68
Rainmaker
3,324,303
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

It is beyond us that sooo many people buy into this sight...and worse yet...Realtors that support it !

Jul 01, 2018 05:14 AM #69
Rainmaker
499,619
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Hi Sally and David: I agree--it is  astounding because as they participate they are digging their own grave---and they don't seem to know that! The only thing I can think is that these heads of companies who authorize the theft of our valuable content must think there is something in it for themselves--and maybe there is!!

The stupidity is beyond comprehension...

Jul 01, 2018 05:19 AM #70
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Rainmaker
499,619

Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA

...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons
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