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Case dismissed: Judge says Zillow’s Zestimates are clearly just estimates

May 18, 2018

A Zestimate, in the end, is just an estimate.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by several Chicago-area homeowners over Zillow’s “Zestimates” of home values.

The suit had alleged Zillow leads homebuyers to believe that its Zestimates are precise calculations of a home’s current market value, when in fact they’re often inaccurate.

But U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve dismissed the suit Monday. She said the online listings giant’s Zestimates “”are not false or misleading representations of fact likely to confuse consumers,” according to Crain’s, which first reported on the dismissal. They are, the judge said, merely an estimate of the market value of a property, which Zillow makes clear on its website.

It was the second time St. Eve dismissed the suit; she tossed out a previous version of it in August. But the homeowners refiled.

On a section of its site that discusses Zestimates’ accuracy, Zillow says in the Chicago area, a Zestimate is likely to come within 5 percent of the actual sale price about 57 percent of the time.

 

The role of “The Z Word” in setting a listing price was brought up Tuesday morning during a Chicago Association of Realtors panel discussion on pricing and negotiating in a competitive residential market.

Amanda McMillan of @properties said Zestimates have become less of an issue when talking with clients about how to price a property than when they first came out.

“When it first came out people put a lot more weight on those Zestimates,” she said.

Compass’ Amy Duong Kim said clients now are more savvy and smart, and are able to gather the data on their homes independent of the Zestimate.

To get an estimate on the value of your home, “Get Wise with WiseCat Realtors!”  Call 305-523-9323.  The WiseCat Knows Miami!

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