Zillow.comConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
Zillow is a real estate website that provides more information about the hidden costs of homeownership than any other real estate website I have seen. In Mark **'s article about the hidden costs of homeownership, he also talks about Zillow. After reading this article, I decided to check out the website for myself. Zillow breaks down the expenses that most people do not think about when they are purchasing a home. Zillow provides home value, price/tax history, mortgages, competition, home expenses, and more. When buying a home, there are so many "hidden" costs that the buyer needs to be aware of. Zillow is helpful when trying to decide if one wants to become a homeowner or a renter.
I am a Realtor (Agent) in the Tulsa area and I wanted to comment on some of the reviews. First, all agents agree with these comments and completely feel your pain. We have a love/hate relationship with Zillow and we continue to seek out other options to capture these Buyers but currently, this is where consumers are going for their home searches so it is in our best interest to continue to advertise on their site. (at much $$$!)
The reason for writing this is to reassure those with concerns about the content displayed on Zillow. Agents always... ALWAYS... RE-educate the buyers and sellers who come to us from this site due to many inaccuracies. Often the homes Buyers inquire about have already been sold, 1/2 baths are rounded up by Zillow to a full baths and the Zestimate is completely inaccurate pretty much 100% of the time.
For these reasons alone, it would make sense that Sellers selling their home should use a Listing Agent and Buyers should be represented by a Buyers Agent. This is not a self-promotion opportunity, this is an obvious fact based on the issues listed prior. Without Agents, the inaccuracies listed online will be the only "truth" for Buyers; something Sellers have a difficult time overcoming by themselves. Buyers without a Buyers Agent are in jeopardy of purchasing an overpriced home if the Zestimate is much higher than market value.
Agents know and hear of many unfortunate home buying experiences (I had one buying my first home and why I became an agent) but MOST of us are here to help our clients, to advise them, educate them and we strive for a deal that is a "Win, Win" on BOTH sides of the Closing table. Unfortunately, those of us who honestly care, are required to overcome the reputation of the bad seeds in our industry who didn't.
Agents are always open to other solutions to capture the consumers looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate (...looking in the Tulsa area! Hint! Hint! Wink! THAT is a self-promotion! Insert smiley face here.) Rest assured, that as long as consumers continue to use online sites, Agents will be there to re-educate them with the correct information about your homes. I hope this helps! Have a wonderful day!
I've had problems with Zillow like all the complaints listed here. I pretended to be their paying Real Estate agent to get a live person. Both guys I spoke to didn't want to deal with me once they learned I'm a consumer. Big question is why and how is Zillow allowed to exist as a company when there are so many fraudulent business practices and content that is actually damaging homeowner's financial return? Isn't there enough complaints for Consumer Affairs to point this to governmental agency to investigate? They will not speak to Homeowners -- they only have phone contact for Real Estate agents (members) who pay subscription to their business. They are not interested in knowing problems to their business or fixing it. Yet, causing so much damage to consumers.
Lost over 40 on a home in Florida due to Zillow’s inaccuracies and so-called famous Zestimate on a totally remodeled home but yet the same style home next door being a 10 year rental with no updates or upgrades continually came out smelling like a rose over our property. Now 5 years later, same games. False representation of facts. Acreage I don't own. Carports that do not exist plus much more, Zestimate pulled out of someone's hind end but yet this company is allowed to continue to destroy people at the push of a button with no intervention from any agency who's getting their palm greased to allow such deception to continue?
I have had my house listed for a few months. On December 11, 2017 I went from 225 saves to 23 saves. When I called Zillow I was told there is a "bug" in the system. I tried to explain to them that it could damage my house because viewers might think something was wrong with the house. It is now April 2018 and nothing has been fixed. To add insult to injury -- they have bounced my "Zestimate" between 925,000 and 781,000. I have given up trying to get them to fix anything because they quite frankly appear incompetent, and they give you the attitude that they could care less.
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I have been upset with how Zillow values homes for some time now. I have lost potential buyers over the years because of the false 'Home Values' Zillow places on homes. Why do I say false? The comps they use are worthless. They compared our waterfront home with GULF access to homes that aren't even on the water. Waterfront homes with GULF access are typically $200,000 or more than homes that are not on the water. Waterfront homes on fresh water are still at least $100,000 less.
Instead of comparing homes (listed on zillow) that are in the same neighborhood, they compare your house to homes miles away that have a much lower value. Don't bother emailing or calling and leaving messages because don't fix their mistakes or return calls. No wonder agents have such contempt for Zillow. And for homeowners, Zillow is responsible for losing them buyers because most people just don't understand how to compare homes and think Zillow does. If you don't do your homework don't "VALUE" a home Zillow. You don't have a clue. AND when Zillow start their new fix and flip program my advice is... stay as far away as you can! They are the worst.
My report on - Zillow shows I had the house up for sale in 2014. It showed I listed the home in the $170,000s. I had the house for sale with Elite in 2008 for $229,000. I had an offer for $200,000 within five days. I did NOT accept the offer. I had it with Elite to get it on MLS. I bought the house for $185,000, and put $40,000 in updates which included a new roof, new energy efficient furnace and water heater. All new window. Insulation in the attic drain tile and new driveway. I would never sell this house in the $170,000's. Where did they pull this information? Zillow cannot be trusted for accurate information.
I went to Zillow because I heard my house I sold three years ago is up for sale. I reviewed the listing to see the asking price and the details listed are all false. The square footage is over 1000 square feet higher than it actually is. The listing says three bedrooms when there are only two and four full baths when there are 3.5. I put a new air conditioner in two years before I moved so it is not new. The tile is not new, it is just what I had. There is only a wood floor put in the master bedroom with crown molding. Everything else is as I left it including the paint. It is not worth $494000 when I only got $389000. How can Zillow allow such false information to be presented. This is outright criminal.
I have been watching my neighborhood for 10 years now, watching property values on Zillow. Without rhyme or reason, prices go up on homes, while a house next door drops dramatically. Recently a home that was just built, the value dropped below the actual cost of the construction. I have checked these homes on other property evaluation sites, and these homes have gone up in value, while Zillow claims they are decreasing. I believe Zillow does this to help sales listed by their agents, to fabricate a sales market for their realtors. Do not list your homes for sale on their site. Do not give them any reason to debunk property values.
I've contacted the company Zillow through customer care and emailing the CEO Spencer Rascoff to no avail. Okay! At issue is Zillow Group using my properties without my express, written or implied consent to publish or assign any arbitrary or sliding value system to my properties whatsoever. My properties are not even listed for sale. Yet Zillow group posts my properties on the world wide web and lowballs my property values defaming my net worth in a public forum to my neighborhood all while enriching themselves in the process at my expense as a property owner. Let me just add. We are a nation of laws. And this is as illegal as it gets!
This rubbish referred to as a Zestimate is Zillow Group's pricing tool for de-valuing my assets in the public forum against my wishes. The Zestimate price is not a comp or an appraisal. It is an arbitrary made up number and it is against the law. Property owners rights are being trampled over in this reckless abuse of power that encroaches on our property rights. Offers no compensation whatsoever, in order for Zillow Group to enrich themselves. This is a form of trespass and property theft. I have requested Zillow Group to cease and desist from using any of my properties' data beyond public information and I've heard nothing from them and this violation of my civil and property rights continues completely unabated. I protest this illegal behavior being used against my fundamental property rights. And I am seeking relief.
I recently had a negative review on Zillow (the ONLY negative review I've ever had) and it had several false claims from a client that had a disorder. They would not take it down, even with unsubstantiated false claims - they would not even let me respond to the erroneous review. Very frustrating. They also have ridiculously high 'zestimates' and they also are not in real time and show houses as active long after they've been under contract or sold.
I am Real Estate broker and my company Flat Rate LA Real Estate is one of the best in Los Angeles, California. I got a lot of clients because my company my was on the first page of the Real Estate agent directory in Los Angeles because of the large number of good reviews and past sales. Now my business was just thrown out of the directory because of Zillow poor software and errors. In accordance with Zillow, now my business does not belong to any city in America and it is impossible to find it. I sent messages to support several times, but everything is useless. They can do nothing (or do not want) to fix the problem. Very unpleasant and insulting.
I had a really bad experience with ZILLOW and its thugs, they wanted me to advertise and they overcharged me for garbage. No clients ever came from. ZILLOW is a waste of money. It's FAKE. Unworthy at all.
My house had a value of $628,000 and nothing changed, not even the houses around me and my house value dropped by $124,000 in two days. All the house around me did not change or if they did it was a couple of thousand. So all things being the same why would my house decline and everyone else's didn't. Zillow must have something very bad with the way it calculates home values. Just take a look at ** and you will see the huge difference in my house and all the other house around me stated the same.
I own a real estate company. I wanted to try some kind of lead generating program to give leads to my agents. As Zillow being the most viewed real estate site, they had a program called "Premier Broker". I was impressed by the salesperson telling me that they have 11 concierge speaking at least 8 different languages. These concierge will talk to the leads and then transfer to us only the filtered leads. They will ask 2 questions. #1 "Are you looking to buy, sell or rent?" If answer is buy or sell, then #2 "Do you have a real estate agent?" If answer is "NO" then the lead will be connected to us. What a great service! Sounded all good.
I was promised average of 112 leads per month for a $8000/month program which was on special so only had to pay $6000/month. Well, first 30 days we got some calls asking about rentals and leads with messages like "do not call" or "lead isn't interested in talking to an agent" or "this lead contacted multiple agents" or "this lead is already working with an agent"... All of these leads are approximately $80 each, since I paid $6000 for less than 80 total leads.
I joined and willing to pay $6000/month for 112 filtered leads. I ended up with about 80 very cold leads with messages telling me not to call. 3 months after $18,000 down the drain, I finally asked to be canceled. This is not nearly what was promised. They asked me to give them a list of zip codes where I want to work. Not even 30% of the leads were from the zip codes in my list. Don't waste your money. If you still want to try, make sure to have the salesperson write down how many filtered leads, not all leads and zip codes you want to work, get that page signed. Don't make the same mistake I did, because Zillow is not cheap. They just cheat and make money from realtors.
I moved in to my new home in 02/2016. In 06/2017, I wrote in to ask that my house be added. I never got a response even though I followed up. I just finally wrote in again in 03/2018 and was told that I cannot have it added, that it only comes through some (undefined) third party feed. Their other problem is that use Bing.com instead of Google maps. The street names aren't right in my community and my house isn't even on the map yet. Way to go Bing, way to go, Zillow.
Contacted Zillow and they had our home on Google correctly mapped and we had it listed as Make Me Move, then updated to for Sale by Owner. The mapped it on Bing miles away and we asked them to fix it and explained it is a brand new home, less than 2 years old in a new development and they can't seem to put it back in its correct location. The Zestimate dropped from 540,000 t0 378,000 in minutes when we switched the listing. I have emailed several times and they don't have a phone number to call anyone and I think they outsource their helpline to people in another country, as they don't seem to understand what we are trying to tell them. They should have a helpline, phone number.
Zillow repeatedly called me over a 1 year period promising how much money I would make with their premier agent program. I eventually signed up for $4k a month in a luxury market I work after relentless calls, emails, and promises. As soon as they got my credit card, they were gone. ZERO leads came in the first 30 days so I tried to cancel. No surprise, the salesman, managers, and everyone else just disappeared completely. The one conversation I was "allowed" to have about canceling was with some inexperienced sales manager and the talks quickly turned adversarial and unprofessional on his part.
The best part when was he said he had to go and forgot to hang up the phone. :) I sat there and listened to him talk about sales practices with clients like me and say "this is how you handle guys like this". "Just take them in circles until they are tired of arguing", "Don't worry, you will still get paid", he said to another as they left the room laughing. He seemed very proud of what he thought he accomplished. In conclusion, Zillow is a scam. Once you sign up, they take your money and run. I will take further action against them for services not rendered.
My house as all homes across the country whether on the market or not are used to solicit real estate agents. They are the people who keep Zillow and other sites in business. Homeowners, if you want to see how Zillow and other companies are using your property, just put your home address in the search bar. You will be very surprised to know that the most important and valuable purchase of your life is used behind your back, without your knowledge or permission to advertise realtors. Zillow is making millions off realtors too while showing incorrect info about your property and devalue it. There should be a law that us homeowners have the right to opt out of this company using our property for their profit. And realtors should be paying us homeowners to use our property to advertise themselves. Sick of my house showing to prospective buyers info that is not only incorrect but keep it from selling.
I signed up for a 6 month run of 7% of an affluent zip code, and was pretty much promised that even a single sale from this area would put me in the black. In that time, I have converted six leads from another company, and zero from Zillow. Not only that, but I was supposed to receive a certain volume of leads and that has not materialized. The leads that do come through are tire-kickers, people who are not ready, or willing, to work with an agent, people who already have an agent. The supposed sellers that come through are actually buyers or renters wanting information on the price, not the owners of the house. Don't waste your time.
Zillow doesn't pick up the fields that depict the realtor fee and who pays for it. It is needed to create the listing in the newjerseymls - one of the many sites Zillow gets a feed from. I reached out to Zillow. They are supposedly working on it. What is interesting is that I saw my listing out there 2 days ago, communicated with Zillow, then the listing disappeared yesterday and is still not up on the site. Communicated that to them too. Maybe Zillow can pay my realtor fee??? Maybe Zillow will disappear just like my listing did. :-) Class-action suit anyone?
Zillow should not be used as a guideline for home sale properties. They are constantly in error, they had my mother's house listed over 60K below value, took forever to correct their mistake listing it as only 1 bedroom when there were 4, listing the price of the home by the zip code, not the actual town the house was located, which wasn't the zip cope town Zillow used, which lowered the home valued considerably. The house sold way way below value, if something could be done legally, I would consider it. Shame on Zillow.
I have noticed that the listing dates on Zillow always seem to START OVER. I know for certain that most of the listings have been on ZILLOW far longer than a DAY. I have contacted Zillow. ZERO communication from them.
We had been watching the value of our condo rise through the months on Zillow. When we listed our home, the value dropped by, wait for it, $50,000! We contacted Zillow but no response or change to our ad. Fortunately other sites have a correct valuation. Unfortunately, who knows how many interested buyers we are losing. Class action suit? Keep trying!
I took my home off Zillow but you can still pull it up on their site. The price estimate on my home is only half of what it’s worth. They have to realize that people that are looking at this that don’t know the area think you are trying to get more money than it’s worth causing them to not want to buy the home. I understand they are trying to help give people the right info but they are not.
I have repeatedly requested that this company correct the price of my house. It is listed way, way, way more than I paid for it and it is an obvious typo! They say they will change it but they never do!
Left a intelligent, proper, detailed review of my realtor and it flag it as offensive, leave no way to edit and the Zestimator they use is inaccurate. It's just irresponsible. I'm not surprised the co. is located in Seattle. I like TRULIA a whole lot better.
Given the number of negative reviews that are listed here isn't there something that can be done to address this company's practices? We own a condominium in Maryland. My neighbor's property is for sale. Our units are identical in every way. We have adjoining walls. Both units were built at the same time. My neighbor's Zestimate is over $310k higher than Zillow's Zestimate of my unit. Just like every other reviewer, contact with "Customer Care" is a sham. The first clue is the fact the "person" who answers your concerns does not even have the courage to provide his last name! The answers are scripted and no matter what the question is - the stock answer is the same. I have requested contact information for the head of the Consumer Care Dept. The response continues to be the same canned response which clearly indicates that my replies are not even being read.
The Zillow Group has been sued in federal court over the admitted inaccuracy of its Zestimates but so far it has prevailed. However, the court indicated that there may be grounds for suit that were not included in that lawsuit that which recently dismissed. The Zillow Group is a publicly traded company. A few years back, They were sued from the outset when corporate executives left Realtor.com and allegedly took proprietary information along with them when they joined Zillow. The matter settled for $130 million dollars after the judge made a determination that at least one of the defendants had intentionally destroyed evidence. These are the people who run this operation, so it comes as no surprise that the consumer is being mislead by these folks and they do not seem to care.
Finally, according to a recent article on GEEKWIRE, the Zillow Group has offered $1 million dollars to data sciences to improve its home valuation tool. That's a lot of money. They know they have a flawed product and that it is only a matter of time before the chickens come home to roost. That $130 million dollar settlement must have made an impression on someone. If I could leave a review of minus 10 stars, it would be a more accurate 'Zestimate' of my experience with this company.
We inquired about a home on Zillow. Within in minutes of inquiring we got a call. In a span of less than 24 hours, we got 3 telephone calls, 2 VM's, 3 emails, and 6 text messages-the last text message came in at 4:20 AM! I told the agent I wasn't interested in working with him at all due to the frequency of his communication and that I found his conduct unprofessional and borderline harassing. I tried to write a review about him on Zillow, but since he was a premier agent for them, they block it. They gave me some kind of BS excuse but it was clear that protecting premier agents is their top priority. Zillow is trash and anyone using this site should be careful of their content and actions.
My husband and I purchased a home in a Los Angeles market in 2014. Home values here, as in many markets the past 4 years, have skyrocketed. Two years ago Zillow, and therefore Trulia, dropped the home value estimate of our property by approximately 200K in this rapidly increasing market. Assuming they would eventually remedy their error, I did nothing. Finally decided to email them and received a form letter, generic response referring me to their site for their estimate process and informing me in bold italics that they DO NOT edit estimates in response to customer feedback. How about if you acknowledge a glitch/error though and actually look at the individual case? Redfin and realtor.com both have us 200K higher than they do. Most people seem to know that Zillow estimates are all over the place and therefore mostly useless but there are those who are unaware of this and Zillow can hurt a home’s marketability with their misinformation.
Zillow.com expert review by ConsumerAffairs
Zillow was launched by two former Microsoft executives in 2006. It is owned by the Zillow Group and makes a profit by selling ad space on the website and through its partner with U.S. newspapers to provide real estate searches on their websites. Zillow lists all types of real estate available for sale and rent.
Multiple search areas: Users can search for houses in select neighborhoods or areas simultaneously and exclude all homes listed outside of those areas. Site visitors can circle the area(s) they are interested in on a digital map and then apply filters to homes inside those areas.
Zillow Digs: Zillow Digs, a portion of Zillow’s website, helps people find design and decoration inspiration. It shows pictures of both interior and exterior spaces and lists prices for materials used as well as an estimate for labor cost.
Zillow Advice: The Zillow Advice section of the company’s website serves as a forum where individuals can ask and respond to real estate related questions. Users can sort by city or neighborhood to see discussions about problems or trends in their area.
Sun NumberTM: Those interested in using solar energy will find Zillow’s Sun Number, which is listed on the page for each property. This number tells how well-suited the house is for installing solar panels based on the building type, climate, electricity cost and solar installation cost.
Zestimate: Each house listed on Zillow has a Zestimate, which estimates the current market value of the house, the amount it could be rented for and whether the value is projected to increase or decrease over the following year.
Best for: Zillow is best for house hunters, renters, homeowners and real estate agents.
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