Zillow Uses Phony Appraisals As Strong-Arm Tactic, Suit Says

Law360, New York (May 23, 2017, 10:19 PM EDT) -- An Illinois family that owns a construction business has hit Zillow Inc. with class allegations that the real estate website’s Zestimate feature gives inaccurate appraisals of homes in an effort to strong-arm homeowners into retaining Zillow-associated brokers.

Vipul B. Patel and other members of the Patel family, along with Castle Bldrs.com, say the Zestimate tool — which gives instantly calculated rough price estimates on homes — is not based on any recognized valuation method and often lowballs the value of homes.

To clear up the confusion, homeowners often turn to brokers that advertise on the site, the suit says, and Zillow’s...

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