The online real estate marketing company Zillow has rapidly made a name for itself by providing easily accessible estimates for home values. Just key in an address, and up pops a property description and a dollar figure. The trouble is, according to a lawsuit recently filed against Zillow, is that the so-called Zillow “Zestimate” is too easily confused by potential buyers as a real appraisal. And that’s a real problem if Zillow’s figure is not in line with the genuine market value. Resulting expectations for would-be buyers can become hard to resolve. To Zillow’s credit, the firm doesn’t call the Zestimate an appraisal, and it provides a disclaimer as to the accuracy of its figures. In fact, the Zillow Zestimate lands within 5 percent of the actual sale price 53.9 percent of the time. The lesson to be learned: by working with a local, professional Realtor, both buyers and sellers can be more confident they are working with price figures that stand up to scrutiny.

 

The Group Inc's Insider July 2017