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Scott Brown • 9 years ago

I predict many homes will continue to sell for less than they could/should and many will be foreclosed upon needlessly, both solely due to the fact that Zillow has been an authoritative presence on the internet claiming to give everyone a true value for their home when in fact they often times (far too often) put the Zestimate far too low, thereby scaring any and all potential buyers away. It would be nice if I could predict that the National Association of Realtors would stop allowing Zillow to libelously post their criminally inaccurate information, but I suspect they will continue to allow it and in some cases continue to cover it up.

Debra Dickens • 9 years ago

Yes, Where is the NAR? With a fragile housing market anyway, the Zestimates injure many homeowners who cant sell at market price and suffer loses based on Zestiguess. All the while the NAR promotes professionalism and licensing of real estate agents or APPRAISERS and by not protecting their members by going after this libelous misinformation generator, they are promoting that housing values can be made by anyone or any machine that an unlicensed, non real estate person can feed misleading info into. Yes, WHERE IS THE NAR!

Scott Brown • 9 years ago

Thank you! I have emailed NAR multiple times and also posted in the Facebook groups they manage and they have ignored my emails and countless other of concerned Realtors' messages as well, and not only that but they have deleted my posts and blocked me from the group for posting about this, and other Realtors have told me they did the same to them!

Betsy Ornelas • 9 years ago

I agree Scott, Zillow is an automatically computed program which I refer it as a broken clock. Estimates are wildly incorrect. Like you state far too often, far too low, and seldomly high or correct.

Jason Van Steenwyk • 9 years ago

Libel? This word "libel" you use. I do not think it means what you think it means! :-)

Scott Brown • 9 years ago

libel: "a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation; a written defamation." When a home owner prices their home and Zillow posts the value as much less, that tells every person who sees that low value next to the home owner's price that the home owner is attempting to steal from them, therefore it is libelous, and there are many other threads along that thought which contribute to other criminal activity when they continue to block earned profits from owners and Realtors as well.

Amy Goldstein • 9 years ago

While I appreciate Freddie Mac's predictions, they are just predictions. I've been a Mortgage Broker for 15 years and have seen the good, bad and the ugly. The fact remains that no matter what the market does, people will be buying and selling homes. If we do out jobs correctly, and work with integrity, we will always be busy real estate professionals. The rates are the rates are the rates, and people will more than likely consider mortgage rates "cheap money" considering unsecured loans are much higher. Houses will sell, rates will change for the better then for the worse then for the better again. As our economy improves our moneys worth increases, so rates in fact will rise; however; every financial report recently released has shown economic improvement and rates have stayed relatively stable.. Happy New Year to all and Happy sales for the upcoming year.

Jason Robie • 9 years ago

Really? "Libelous"? While I would agree that Zillow is not the most intelligent place to garner accurate home pricing information, they do provide an adequate definition of their "zestimate" (http://www.zillow.com/zesti....

The days of the uneducated consumer are long gone. It is the job of the listing agent to adequately RE-educate the seller on both the value of their home as well as the price at which it is most likely to sell. I would submit two thoughts:

1. If your potential seller is so stuck on a price they got "off the web", it is most likely not a seller you need to have as a client. Move-On.

2. If you are unable to re-educate your potential seller with CMAs, recent comps, etc., and sell your services as a marketing professional, perhaps real estate is not the career for you. Move-On.

As Amy G. says so succinctly below: "If we do our jobs correctly, and work with integrity, we will always be busy real estate professionals."

I mean nothing personal to you two that posted below, but too many years listening to agents point fingers as to why they can't get a listings has made me a little callous to the whining.

Scott Brown • 9 years ago

You say the days of the uneducated consumer are long gone? Have you ever heard the phrase 'first time home buyer'? They have never heard of Zillow quite often, until they search for a home.

Perhaps its your clients listing, and the fair market value is $300,000 and the buyer searches for homes and see a big fat site saying click here to 'find out your home's true value' and sees their ads on tv and decides to look there and see that in fact you are smoking crack and so is your buyer... and your home is only worth $200,000... or at least how they will perceive it, and decide to go to another home where some collusive Realtors that pay that large real estate website giant marketer shows their homes values priced at $300,000 and worth $300,000 according to that major company steering potential home buyers away from select homes at their whim or due to their lack of information or whatever their fancy is...

Do you think it can't happen with millions of buyers going to their site? I know it does, and so do most who have researched it a bit and looked outside of their one market and own mindset. Many Realtors in NAR's facebook group have seen things like this and reported them but have been ridiculed for pointing these things out which have happened to their clients. Why do those it has not happened to feel like they need to speak against those it has happened to? Can't they just learn or are there really this many uneducated agents out there still?

Jason Robie • 9 years ago

When 92% of people use the Internet for their home search (http://www.realtor.org/repo..., yes, I'd stand by my statement of the days of uneducated consumer are gone. That said, there is no way to control where they are going to go for their information. It could be a misleading website or a misleading agent. Neither of which is something you (or your "union", NAR) will ever be able to manage or control.

My only point is for agents to stop complaining about something that is, and always will be, out of their control.

You are spot-on with your comment about there being loads of uneducated agents out there. Perhaps if they spent more time optimizing their own websites and increasing their own company's marketing, instead sitting on their hands waiting for their brokers to hand them leads (and casting stones at companies that clearly do a far superior job marketing) they would get to the consumers first?

Scott Brown • 9 years ago

Your only point is to say that people posting misleading ads should be allowed to continue to do so? So you want False Advertising to be expanded and allowed in all areas of marketing and sales, or just want to give Zillow this free pass to entice and deceive potential buyers? Home owners own their homes. Zillow lies to the world about many of the values of those homes. This is an illegal business practice and blocks home owners from the profits that they have rightfully earned.

I am amazed you can not or refuse to see or understand this simple truth. I have my MBA complete and am halfway through my Doctor of Business Administration degree program. Perhaps you should study business a little bit more before advising Real Estate Agents on how to complain when illegal activity is being committed against their clients and the general public.

Jason Robie • 9 years ago

Take a deep breath, Scott. I think it's great that you have a piece of paper that says you know how to take tests and write papers. Congrats on that.
To use your wording... I am amazed that you can not or refuse to see or understand that all Zillow (or any other national real estate brand) is attempting to do is give consumers a starting point from which to start a conversation with a real estate professional. If said consumer decides that they will use this generic information to base the largest financial decision of their lives on, that is their choice. Much like basing a decision on stock purchases based on what the Motley Fool or some other "expert" tells them to do.
Sure you can have your opinion of the home's value, but we both know the value of the home (or anything for that matter) is rooted in what someone is willing to pay for it. I'm guessing they taught you that in business school, right?
I am not justifying what Zillow does nor am I in any way saying that the data they provide is accurate. All I'm saying is that folks need to settle down a bit before they start blaming Zillow on the purchase price of their home.
Your original comment was that homes would continue to sell for less and go into foreclosure solely due to the Zestimate being far too low.
My only rebuttal to that was that I wished more real estate agents would take responsibility for their clients and their buyers and stop bitching about what some website says.
Wal-Mart undercuts local businesses.
Wix undercuts web developers.
E-Trade undercuts stock professionals.
But each of those (undercut) businesses either steps up to the plate and continues to offer their clients professional services for an appropriate (fair market value) "price", or they close up shop and find another profession.

MikeeK • 9 years ago

This has been an entertaining exhange to watch.

I'm just a regular guy trying to sell his home. My Zestimate has been pretty close to market comps and my house still isn't selling. I can look at other homes that did sell to see what is moving and what isn't moving. Maybe the publicly available data isn't quite at timely or detailed as stuff realtors get, but it is certainly sufficient to provide a reality check. I don't know anyone who looks at a Zestimate and nothing else and considers themselves informed but I suppose in California it happens all the time with their dilapidated school system and greedy teachers, permanent welfare state, uninhibited illegal immigration and other social programs designed to let the state think for you..

Debbie Hyde • 9 years ago

As the Isaacs Tean states, a lot more goes into the sale of a home than finding comps. I find most people trying to sell themselves, wind up not saving money but rather burning time on market while they try to get the market to come to them. I too suggest you interview and hire an experienced real estate team to help you sell your home. Debbie Hyde,The Hyde Group

The Isaacs Team LLC • 9 years ago

Are you working with a Realtor? Comps are just one piece of the puzzle in positioning, pricing and marketing a home for sale. There's no blanket approach for all properties, but one thing is certain: Days On Market (DOM) are your enemy. The longer your home sits without selling, statistics show the lower your final sales price will be. If you're not working with a top-notch professional, hire one now.

Ron Gregory • 9 years ago

Trying to figure out how loan originations will go down but sale prices will go up? Are you predicting more cash contracts at higher prices? Based on what little I know about economics; when rates rise sales go down, sales go down, so do prices!!! What is my simple mind missing?

Leonora • 9 years ago

I put a contract on a home which construction is supposed to start in January. Interest rates are low, but it won't be locked until I close on the house around May 2015. With the crisis on the oil business and people already losing their jobs, I am afraid to go thru with the deal. This is an investment home. I have until tomorrow to make a decision to go thru with it or withdraw the contract. Need advice please!

Gisela Hertz • 9 years ago

Yes all the more reason to educate homeowners and buyers we are
communicating with, with the truth.

David Benton • 9 years ago

All the more reason to educate homeowners and buyers we are communicating with, with the truth. When a homeowner needs to sell they should be seeking a professional for their advice. Zillow pulls all the sales data in an area to arrive at their Zestimate. This includes distressed sales and sales pulled from tax records. It's a little late for NAR to keep Zillow and Realtor.com out of Realtors pockets but we can and should have ready answers to provide valuable information to the public, which is in their best interest.

Bob McTague • 9 years ago

These are very interesting comments on the 5 Predictions of 2015 - I missed the Zillow reference? Sure, Zestimates are off - Sure there are agents, articles, home evaluation models, etc... misleading consumers to their true home market value. I rarely have a buyer or seller in my market use a home value price that they got off Zillow... Zillow is not the enemy here. They are a website portal created out of a need that the consumer asked for. They and other portals are evolving to meet the consumers needs. We as real estate professionals need to understand that real estate is still a face to face business and a communication sport - these portals (good or bad) just give agents a chance to make a connection. It is up to the agent to have good communication skills. The problem is not the portals, (there really is no problem), the challenge is how to train agents to be experts in their field of study (A well rounded agent) one who understands the consumer that they are attempting to attract. So my prediction for 2015 is that Zillow and other portals will evolve to help the real estate consumer make better choices, and real estate agents that embrace change (and focus on helping people) will survive and many will thrive in this complex and changing market.

You Ain't No Sanjaya • 9 years ago

Predictions for the country's real estate market as a whole are pretty worthless.