Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oh, Great.

Zillow off by millions in the Hamptons


And I thought Zillow was just going to keep its wildly inaccurate information to itself. Wrong.

"Real estate Web site Zillow.com on Wednesday announced plans to launch co-branded real estate Web sites with 180 newspapers nationwide, powered by Zillow.

With this relationship, newspaper Web sites will now include Zillow’s powerful search functionality, whereby users can enter any home address, neighborhood or locality and find Zestimate home values, recently sold homes, homes for sale, open house listings and local market data, on a co-branded version of Zillow.com."

For the complete story, go here.

I have looked up my property on Zillow. It has the sale price incorrectly listed as the price from two sales ago (a difference of $256,000!!). I have contacted Zillow three times to try to correct it, but there really is no one to contact. So the price remains inaccurate based on inaccurate information.

It also compares single family homes to attached dwellings and makes no distinction between neighborhoods. And while you can correct some information yourself by claiming your property (such as number of bedrooms or square feet), you cannot correct inaccurate sales information.

Have you ever looked up your property on Zillow? Is it accurate? Is is close? Do you think it sucks as much as I do? Do you have tips for correcting mistakes? Do you want to participate in my class action suit against Zillow?

Find Zillow here.

14 comments:

nikinikinine said...

I hate that website. It didn't even point to our house for the first few years - what was orignially shown was our neighbors house.

Now our home is listed as $22K lower than our purchase price 3 years ago. We had the house appraised this fall for a refinance, so the actual value versus what Zillow lists is more like a $40K difference. Idiots.

Oh and by the way - I'm wondering where my third bathroom is?

Anonymous said...

It's off by more than $100K, and the bed and bath info is inaccurate.

Decorina said...

I hate Zillow. It is always wrong - and never because the value they give the property is too high, always too low.

That said I do take perverse pleasure in watching the house I sold in 2001 slide backward in value toward the amount I sold it for. It rocketed up after the sale, when the Zillow was new and that was a bummer for me.

They do allow for your own estimate, but their low one is always the one that is used by people who are looking at houses. The photos are often outdated and just wrong. For my neighbors across the street they only show a wood fence down the side street as the "front" of the house.

I hate them.

Jill said...

My house still doesn't exist after 5 years...it's an empty lot.

Raina said...

I've never used though I've heard of it. Thanks for the heads up, I'll skip it.

megan said...

My house is listed for 25K less than what we purchased it for 13 years ago. Yikes.

Allison aka HaselBride said...

We just closed on our home a few weeks ago and it is listed at $40,000 less than we paid. Bizarre!

erin@designcrisis said...

I hope it's wrong, otherwise we've lost $40k in the last two years. That would be odd since Austin home prices are still rising (we live in bizarro land over here).

I pay pretty close attention to real estate in our area, and I do see neighborhoods that are overpriced by Zillow.

I also hate that it doesn't really seem to take land value into account, proximity to undesirable areas, or the condition of the structure. You know, pretty much everything that's important.

*moggit girls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christina said...

Ive never even heard of Zillow until you blogged about it! I looked up my house/development.. and it's just blank earth (just built a year and a half ago).. but I figured at least maybe the houses that have been up for 4-5 years would be there...but they aren't... maybe I'm living in a non-existant world? :)

hello gorgeous said...

It's mostly wrong to the downside, of course. And, unfortunately, people take it as gospel.

It's based on public records but if the records haven't updated for whatever reason, you have no recourse for incorrect information.

As I said, you can update bathrooms and square feet yourself but not sale data.

And, unbelievably, realtors in our area are using the information for pricing property!

Patricia Gray said...

Wow that sounds like such an invasion of privacy to me, not to mention the misinformation on the pricing. I just went on the site on luckily they are not showing Canada yet!!!!
Patricia

Rachel said...

Well, I guess I'm in the minority... they're actually pretty accurate on what our house is worth - give or take a few thousand. But they're pretty close.
That being said, there are some houses in our neighborhood that they have priced at about the same, and from knowing what they look like on the outside, and guessing that the inside is just as badly kept up, I am sure that they would actually sell for at least ten grand less or more. They don't take into account the condition of the house.

hello gorgeous said...

Raina: I forgot to tell you; it's not something you use, it's something that uses you!

Basically, you just show up in its search engines. You might use it when you're looking for a new house here but the info is unreliable at best.

The good news is they did finally change the photo from the house we back up to.

And I just updated "other" with notes about the incorrect price and added the difference in. It updated our price.

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