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Report: #1484593

Complaint Review: Zillow - Seattle Washington

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Weissonian — Philomath Oregon United States
  • Zillow 1301 Second Avenue Floor 31 Seattle, Washington United States

Zillow Posted a "Zestimate" well under the value and then posted a pop up offering to buy the house Seattle Washington

*Consumer Suggestion: Agree with Robert

*Consumer Comment: Comments

*Consumer Comment: Find an Appraiser

*Consumer Comment: First Amendment Rights

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We put our house on "for sale by owner" and updated information that was years out of date. 2100 sq ft house on one level, 550 sq ft garage/shop, 5 bedrooms, 2 baths, masses of built in storage, metal roof, heat pump, built by the original owner for himself and family, .23 acre lot, fenced yard, walking distance to schools, many other amenities.

Zillow gave an estimate (Zestimate) of $374,000 after we updated the info, but a week later dropped the zestimate to $306,000 - for no reason we could see. We tried repeatedly to get the estimate changed - was told it's done by algorithm and can't be changed. We tried to get them to remove the zestimate altogether, was told they can't do that. Since the estimate drop, no one has "saved" the listing and fewer and fewer people are looking at the listing. This is costing us many possible customers, but we have no way to change what Zillow has done.

Right after the "Zestimate" was dropped 68,000, a pop up appeared suggesting we could save trouble and sell the house to Zillow! This seems like a scam and we are apparently helpless.

Why don't we just remove the listing? Because Zillow won't let us. We have to choose between saying it's no longer on the market (which isn't true) or it's sold (which also isn't true.) I don't know how Zillow is allowed to get away with this - we have filed a complaint with out state Attorney General and plan to file one with the FCC as well.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/05/2019 09:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/zillow/seattle-washington-posted-pop-1484593. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Agree with Robert

AUTHOR: Flint - (Afghanistan)

POSTED: Friday, September 13, 2019

Your house is very dated and desperately needs some updates, and your pictures are terrible.  In general, the place screams 1960s, and the wood paneling is a very dated look these days.  The architecture is very dated, and the curb appeal is severely lacking.

From the curb, it kind of looks like an auto mechanic shop.  The kitchen is very 1990s looking with those white builder-grade appliances and cabinets.  The laundry area is just sad -- throw away those appliances, they are just embarrassing.  The bathrooms don't like they've been updated, either.  I'd say you'd be lucky to sell it in the low $300s.  There were a couple of similar houses that sold for $250k a year ago, so you are asking way too much for it.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Comments

AUTHOR: Robert - (United States)

POSTED: Friday, September 06, 2019

First of all they are just providing an estimate, they(or anyone) can say your house is worth any value. They are doing nothing wrong or anything the FCC or other agencies would be interested in.

Now, beyond that since you listed the town, it wasn't that hard to find the listing. Once I did that I was also able to see your listing on several other known sites. Some with estimates that are still 15K-30K less than you are asking. So if you are getting no offers, perhaps it isn't just their estimate.

I also read your description on their site, and IMO this is where a Realtor can help. As some of these things are probably hurting you.

1. Putting what is basically a complaint about their estimate, isn't really "Professional". We get it, you don't like the estimate they gave.  But highlighting that as the very first thing in your listing making it front and center is probably not helping you.

2. Your focus on their estimate makes it appear you would be less likely to accept anything less than your asking price because you state you are already less than some previous estimate.

3. This is a FSBO, this may turn some realtors away from looking at your property because as a FSBO you are going to have to rely on them more for a lot of the technicallites of a home sale. Not only for your protection, but they will have to do that for theirs.

4. According to the records you bought this house about 4 years ago for 100K less than what you are asking. While home prices have increased a few percentage points, your asking price is about a 42% increase over what you bought it at. So is your asking price really in line?

5. You talk about this remodled kitchen with "high end" appliances, but the pictures do not do it justice. The word that came to my mind about the entire house including the kitchen  was "dated". You are including the Washer and Dryer. Is that the one in the image as I think the only reason you are including it is that they are probably from the 80's-90's and you just didn't want to pay to haul them away. They aren't even "matched.

6. Are you really saying the only picture you had of this blueberry tree was with someone standing in front of it? Realtors use professional photographers who can bring out the best points.

7. The yard. While you think you are focusing on the house, I see dead grass and dirt patches.

The person who built it, while interesting unless they were some famous architect, that really doesn't add a lot of value.    My Grandfather built his house in the 1950's.  He built in a lot of custom features as he was one of the head civil enginners for the State department of Highways.  You can still drive over some of the bridges he designed, but that name or resume doesn't really mean anything in terms of the house

You of course can call this "nit-picking", but remember...you haven't really had any offers. Less could be more...cut those photos by at least half and focus on the best features.

So as some advice. You may be saving a few percentage points by not having to pay a Realtor, but a Realtor may be able to get you a better price and a faster sale. Where doing a FSBO may actually be costing you money in the long run. As someone else said, you should get an appraiser to find out what a more realistic value of the house is.

Good Luck

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#2 Consumer Comment

Find an Appraiser

AUTHOR: Jim - (United States)

POSTED: Friday, September 06, 2019

We put our house on "for sale by owner" and updated information that was years out of date. All of that is fine, but I would not rely on a service that utilizes an algorithim to determine the value of your home (and it does use such a formula).  I once the had the opposite problem:  I used to live in a home that had been rebuilt with almost 80% more sq. feet than every house surrounding our home, but roughly the same plot of land. 

Zillow valued the home at almost double what every home in the neighborhood was - yet when I paid for an appraisal for the home, the value was not materially different than any other home around us.  Why?  Because the value of the property is in the land, not on the structure.  If we relied on a Zestimate, we would have never had a buyer- period.

If you are going to do a FSBO, then pay the additional money to have an appraiser come out and give you a value - do not rely on an online appraisal for anything.

This is costing us many possible customers, but we have no way to change what Zillow has done.  Unless you house is in the MLS, you aren't going to find a whole lot of customers.  An educated buyer with a realtor is (a) only going to deal with homes in MLS, and (b) going to steer their clients away from FSBOs for obvious reasons.  That's not a knock on FSBOs.  It just is what it is.  The way I see it, you're looking for a buyer who isn't going to have a realtor, who then has to rely on other methods to find a home.  Of the few remaining, you then have to find someone who either isn't interested in or has no access to MLS.  Then of those even fewer, you have to hope they are interested in using Zillow, which doesn't do a good job of valuing a home.  You aren't seeing customers largely because it's difficult for them to find you...

Why don't we just remove the listing? Because Zillow won't let us.  No, an online company cannot stop you from removing the listing.  It seems abundantly clear you have no takers for the price you wish to sell the house for.  No problem.  If there are no takers, then remove the listing - since there are no buyers.  You can look at the situation again, perhaps get an appraiser out to give you a real estimate, and then put the house back on the market with a value closer to what maybe the appraiser says.

Right after the "Zestimate" was dropped 68,000, a pop up appeared suggesting we could save trouble and sell the house to Zillow!  I mean you're the perfect candidate for Zillow - you're an FSBO who doesn't want to go through all of the hoops most everyone else does when selling a home.  You don't indicate how much they offered, but I suspect based on your narrative you would not be complaining if it were close to what you were asking.  I see their offer as no different than a person trying to find a discounted home they can flip for a profit.  Certainly that isn't against the law.  Neither is what Zillow is doing.

From where I sit, it seems you may not have an impartial idea what the value of your home should sell for - you cannot rely on anything online to tell you that, nor can you rely on Zillow to tell you what the  value of the homes surrounding you are.  At least get an appraiser on your side that will at least help you figure out the right value, and then decidee what to do.  Best of luck to you...

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#1 Consumer Comment

First Amendment Rights

AUTHOR: coast - (United States)

POSTED: Thursday, September 05, 2019

Zillow has the right to post their opinion as to the value of property. An offer to purchase your home is not a scam.

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