Attorneys At Law

Attorneys practicing in and around the Chicagoland area. Experienced in the practice areas of Real Estate Law, Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Litigation, Social Security Disability, Business Law, & Estate Law.

Attorneys At Law - Attorneys practicing in and around the Chicagoland area. Experienced in the practice areas of Real Estate Law, Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Litigation, Social Security Disability, Business Law, & Estate Law.

Zestimate Lawsuit Dismissed

Zillow Zestimate

The widely watched lawsuit against Zillow for their “Zestimate” home estimate tool has been dismissed.

The outcome of this case was being watched by many in the real estate industry as well as homeowners themselves.

In the lawsuit against Zillow, Glenview homeowner and attorney Barbara Andersen alleged that the “Zestimates” Zillow posts act like an appraisal of home market value. This was alleged to be illegal because, under Illinois law, only licensed appraisers can issue home appraisals.

 

Case dismissed by judge

How accurate is your zestimate?The case went before a federal judge in Chicago and was dismissed on August 23rd on the grounds that Zestimates are a mere “starting point” that are unlikely to confuse homebuyers.

U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve stated: “Zestimates are not false, misleading, or likely to confuse. The word ‘Zestimate’ – an obvious portmanteau of ‘Zillow’ and ‘estimate’ – itself indicates that Zestimates are merely an estimate of the market value of a property.”

She further noted that Zillow has labeled the estimates clearly as estimates and includes information on its site detailing the ways in which the estimates can be inaccurate.

Judge Amy St. Eve also dismissed with prejudice the notion that Seattle-based Zillow violated the Illinois Real Estate Appraiser Licensing Act. This means the claim may not be brought before the court again.

The judge indicated that the plaintiffs could attempt to replead three other claims, including one for Zillow’s purported invasion of privacy for posting home values without permission.

Related: Cook County Assessor Faces Controversy Over Widespread Inequities

 

mortgage rates going up after presidential electionThe plaintiffs

The lawyer for the plaintiffs Barbara Andersen said her clients are looking into amending the complaint. “Zillow has unilaterally imposed its opinions on the value of homes without the consent of homeowners,” she stated. “It impairs people’s ability to sell their homes because the estimates do not comply with recognized appraisal standards, and some are way too low.”

Zillow

A Zillow spokeswoman said the company was pleased with the judge’s ruling. “The Zestimate has proven itself to be a sought-after and valuable free tool for consumers.”

Zillow stock moved up slightly the next day and its value has been increasing slowly since.

Related: Real Estate Tax Exemptions Cook County

 

End of the case against Zillow?

This may be the end of the case for now. We will have to wait and see if the plaintiffs decide to move forward with amending the complaint and bringing it before the court once again.


* Advertising Material: To the extent that the information in this post is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material.


The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides real estate law services including loan modificationsbuying and selling legal assistanceshort sales and deeds in lieumortgage foreclosure defense, and others.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090


Sources:

Zillow wins dismissal of ‘Zestimate’ lawsuit in U.S. – Reuters
Zillow ‘Zestimates’ lawsuit dismissed – Crain’s Chicago Business
Zillow’s home-price ‘Zestimates’ survive legal challenge – MarketWatch
Illinois homeowners lose bid to sue Zillow over ‘Zestimates’ – BizJournals.com
‘Zillow Zestimates’ Class-Action Lawsuit Dismissed – InvestorPlace


 

Zestimate Lawsuit – Zillow Class Action Lawsuit Over Online Appraisals

Real Estate Home Buying Myths

Northwest suburban Chicago home builders in Schaumburg have filed a class action lawsuit against the real estate marketing company Zillow.

According to the suit filed on behalf of CastleBldrs.com in Schaumburg, the Zillow.com online estimate tool “Zestimate” provides home estimates that are misleading, and falsely pose as home appraisals in violation of the legal description of an appraisal in Illinois.

The attorney representing Castle Builders is Barbara Andersen, who had also filed an earlier suit against Zillow on her own behalf. Her suit had claimed that a Zestimate of her townhouse value was unrealistically low and had created a “roadblock” to selling her home.

Anderson has since filed a motion to dismiss her suit in order to represent the Castle Builders case.

Class action lawsuit against Zillow

How accurate is your zestimate?The new class action suit is on behalf of all of the millions of homeowners in Illinois. It claims homeowners should be asked their permission to publicly post financial data about their homes.

“Zillow has said they use the Zestimate to draw people into their website,” Andersen told Crain’s Chicago Business. “But from a legal perspective, they shouldn’t be making these estimates at all.”

The Zestimate lawsuit argues that by posting its estimates, Zillow has intentionally violated the “seclusion” of every homeowner in Illinois, without giving them a means to opt out.

Illinois law statesIt is unlawful for a person to (i) act, offer services, or advertise services as a State certified general real estate appraiser, State certified residential real estate appraiser, or associate real estate trainee appraiser, (ii) develop a real estate appraisal, (iii) practice as a real estate appraiser, or (iv) advertise or hold himself or herself out to be a real estate appraiser without a license issued under this Act.

“Even if Zillow’s numbers were perfect, dead-on accurate, they’re still opining on the value of homes, and they don’t have the license to opine,” attorney Andersen said.

Related: Low Inventory for Midpriced Suburban Chicago Homes Driving Up Prices

Zillow denies Zestimates are appraisals

mortgage rates going up after presidential electionZillow maintains that its approximations are not actual appraisals, nor do they claim to be.

They say Zestimates are based on public records and other data using “a proprietary formula.” Zillow also provides a disclaimer about the accuracy of its approximations.

A Zillow spokesperson told MarketWatchWe believe the claims in this case are without merit. We always say that the Zestimate is a starting point to determine a home’s value, and isn’t an official appraisal. It’s a computer-automated estimate of your home’s value.

Many people in the real estate industry will be watching for the outcome of this case.

Zillow Zestimate Class Action Lawsuit Update

Story updated – August 2017 – The Zillow class action lawsuit has been dismissed by a federal judge in Chicago. Read the story here: Zestimate lawsuit dismissed


Related stories and sources:
Class-action suit aims to halt Zestimates in Illinois – Chicago Business
Do Zillow ‘Zestimates’ mislead home buyers? Lawsuit claims yes – MarketWatch
Zillow’s ‘Zestimate’ facing class-action lawsuit, reports say – Chicago Agent Magazine
Glenview homeowner sues Zillow over ‘sloppy’ estimate – Crain’s Chicago Business
Chicago Area Home Sellers File Lawsuit Against Zillow’s Zestimate – Chicago Now

* Advertising Material: To the extent that the information in this post is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material.


The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides real estate law services including buying and selling legal assistance, short sales and deeds in lieu, mortgage foreclosure defense and more.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090