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Zillow and 'Zona Duel Over Zestimates

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 20, 2007

Check out my online article today about the Arizona Board of Appraisal trying to stop Zillow from issuing Zestimates in the state—on the grounds that the Zestimate is an appraisal and Zillow isn’t authorized to do appraisals.


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Reader Comments


April 20, 2007 01:02 PM

Never any shortage of pigs at the public trough using their licensing to exclude competition. The laughable part is how anyone can consider an estimate created without actually considering the condition of place an appraisal.


April 20, 2007 07:02 PM

Next thing you know, used car dealers will try to prevent Kelley Blue Book from releasing estimates.

Geoff B

April 23, 2007 03:02 PM

It's important to keep in mind that this isn't a debate about the accuracy of zillow's estimates. It's about whether a trade group should be allowed to ban zillow from putting these estimates on its site.

If I took a picture of a house and put it on a website with the text "oh, I figure this house would probably sell for between $500k and $700k", could the local Realtors issue get a cease-and-desist? How on earth could anyone ever possibly confuse that with an official appraisal? It's nutty.

Zillow isn't presenting its estimates as official appraisals, and it seems extraordinarly unlikely that anyone would confuse the two.

Yeah, I agree with the above poster: this is an example of a trade group using the courts to block competition and preserve a cartel.


April 23, 2007 04:03 PM

Why does the Real Estate Cartel continue to pick on Zillow? As an investor, I use 2 free sites (Zillow being one), and 2 pay sites to arrive at a most-likely-valuation.

Obviously, the Cartel doesn't want us to make informed decisions.


June 5, 2007 11:51 PM

Please remember that zillow has become so big that people take zestimates to be the final word. It must have a social responsibility now, since people's biggest investment is at stake here, very different from a used-car sale. I am hurt by zillow since my condo is listed about 15% lesser than next-door identical twin, which even shares the same wall with my house. My house isn't selling whereas others are and I am finding it hard to cope with the financial difficulties. If you are selling your home and your home's zestimate is low, I am sure you will come back to this forum with your tail between your legs and write different comments.

Thank you for your interest. This blog is no longer active.



BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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