Appeals court sides with Zillow in lawsuit over Zestimate accuracy

By Nat Levy

A federal appeals court sided with Zillow in a long-running lawsuit over the accuracy and marketing of the real estate giant’s controversial Zestimate tool.

A group of homeowners in Illinois sued Zillow in 2017, alleging that the Zestimate tool is often inaccurate and difficult to get changed, and that Zillow markets it as roughly equivalent to an appraisal. The homeowners argued that the tool undervalued their homes and made it harder for them to sell.

The homeowners appealed the case last year after their claims were twicedismissed. In a brief opinion, The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately agreed with the judges’ prior rulings.

The court found that Zillow is honest about labeling Zestimate as only an estimate, not an appraisal. The process is most accurate “when errors are not biased to favor sellers or buyers,” so Zillow shouldn’t have to change Zestimate values when they come in lower than what homeowners expect, Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote in the opinion.

Read more here.
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