In what is believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind, an Illinois homeowner is suing Zillow because the company’s Zestimate tool allegedly preventing the sale of her home by repeatedly undervaluing the property.
According to a Washington Post report
, Glenview, Ill.-based real estate lawyer Barbara Andersen filed her lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court with the charge that Zillow’s Zestimate of her townhouse was $562,000. Andersen is trying to sell the property for $626,000, which is close to what she paid for it in 2009, adding that larger houses directly across the street from her are selling for $100,000 more.
In her lawsuit, Andersen demands that Zillow should be licensed to perform appraisals and it should obtain “the consent of the homeowner” before posting this data online. She is seeking an injunction against Zillow to either remove the Zestimate attached to her property or to amend it; the lawsuit is not seeking monetary damages.
A Zillow spokesperson dismissed Andersen’s litigation as “without merit,” while the company’s website claimed its Zestimate “is not an appraisal” but an “estimated market value” based on a proprietary data formula.