Judge Throws Out Lawsuit Alleging Zillow's Zestimates Harm Homeowners

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 25, 2017

While these differences in prices might vary, St. Eve notes in her ruling that Zillow includes information on its website that the estimates are not necessarily accurate.

A federal judge in Chicago on Wednesday tossed a lawsuit claiming Zillow is violating the IL appraisal law with its online "Zestimates" of market value. "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". Reuters and Crain's Chicago Business have coverage. It was filed by Vipul Patel, Bhasker Patel and Jyotsna Patel, as co-trustees of the Jyotsna Patel Living Trust; and CastleBuilders.com, an IL corporation, on behalf of "all current owners of real estate property located in IL whose property (ies) are listed on Zillow's website".

St. Eve tossed one of those claims, for alleged invasion of seclusion, partly because there was no allegation the intrusion was highly offensive to a reasonable person, or that the intrusion caused anguish and suffering.

In addition to claims that estimates weren't accurate, the lawsuit contended that Zillow's practice of listing home values based on its Zestimates algorithm was fraudulent, as the company is not a licensed appraiser.

GeekWire previously reported that the suit was brought by Glenview, Ill., real estate lawyer Barbara Andersen, who claimed that Zillow was in violation of IL state law that forbid people or businesses from issuing appraisals without the proper license.

"Zestimates" are just an estimate, with a Z.

"Zillow has unilaterally imposed its opinions on the value of homes without the consent of homeowners", the lawyer said.

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