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Zestimate legal challenge seeks class-action status

05/24/2017

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A family of homebuilders is suing Zillow Group over the Zestimate. The suit, which is seeking class-action status, alleges that Zestimates are illegal appraisals and violate consumer protection laws by pressuring sellers seeking clarity on their home’s value to hire brokers, among other reasons. The attorney representing the family, Barbara Andersen, had sued Zillow Group over her own home’s Zestimate earlier in May. But she dropped that case and filed the new one after receiving “overwhelming demand” to challenge the legality of Zestimates on behalf of all homeowners whose properties are listed on Zillow, she told Inman. Zillow Group denies the charges and plans to file a “timely response,” said Emily Heffter, a spokeswoman for Zillow Group. “We think people should use an agent and we recommend it, but we’ve never forced anyone to use an agent,” Heffter added. Andersen expects the case “will go to appellate court no matter who wins.” Andersen said she t…

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