The First AMC for Agents

Zillow, The First "Agent Management Company" (AMC) for the Real Estate Agent

Zillow, The First "Agent Management Company" (AMC) for the Real Estate Agent

Brokers and Agents, welcome to the appraisal world. Zillow is the first "Agent Management Company" (AMC) for your side of the Real Estate Industry. Yes you read that correctly. Zillow’s actions have many similarities to Appraisal Management Companies, so it is fair to say, they are the first "Agent Management Company"

“Zillow is hurting the people you are licensed to protect”

Doesn’t that sound very familiar to what appraisers have been saying about Appraisal Management Companies?  On the website, Greg Hague, a Real Estate Attorney, Broker and Huffington Post writer, describes Zillow’s actions as “deceptive, defective, and a glorified lead gen scam.”

According the website, Zillow’s “Instant Offers” helps sophisticated investors buy homes from unknowledgeable consumers at thousands below market. In contrast, Appraisal Management Companies have been selling appraisals to unknowledgeable consumers hundreds above market.

According to the website, Zestimates have misled consumers for years regarding their homes value. Zillow continues the program as they profit from the sale of leads back to the agent. In contrast, Appraisal Management Companies have misled lenders on the value of their services. They continue as they profit from taking a percentage of the appraisers fee.

And the kicker in all of this, the website is a petition for the National Association of Realtors to take a stand and force Zillow to stop. It has over 33,000 signatures. In contrast, Appraisers have been asking the Appraisal Institute and National Association of Realtors to take a stand and put a stop to Appraisal Management Companies abuses.

And now we have silence from the two largest National Trade Organizations…

In the article Zillow Doesn’t Even Own the Photos it Threatened to Sue a Popular Blogger Over by Nilay Patel, posted on on 06/27/2017, Zillow attempts to brow beat an independent blogger for copyright infringement for photos they do not even own. In contrast, The FTC, encouraged by AMC’s, filed action against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisal Board for enforcing The Dodd-Frank Federal Law.

There is a quote on the website by Margaret Mead,

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful
committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has

Join your state coalitions. Make a difference in your future. Please share this with your Brokers and Agents.

Phil Crawford with Voice of Appraisal covers Zillow in his podcast.

VaCAP Board
Image credit flickr - Jay Thompson
VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar John J says:

    Something needs to be done to stop these mega corporations from overtaking our industry. I believe I read something recently that Redfin is following the same path as Zillow. Then there is CoreLogic and all of there holdings.. Wasn’t this country built on the foundation of small business? If we, the people allow this stuff to continue, it will be disastrous for our economy.. There are already signs of failure.

    • mike ford mike ford says:

      I can even see a time when computers themselves will be considered a detriment to selling rather than a benefit.

      Maybe agents will return to hard copy listings and listing books for the informed local agents and just use computerized MLS for the over priced stuff…like we all used to do in the early ’70’s and mid 80’s.

  2. Avatar Bye Bye AMC's says:

    Good luck agents… the downfall of YOUR INDUSTRY has begun! Welcome to the appraiser’s world…

    • Avatar Realrose says:

      They see it coming; there are always a few well-connected agents and brokers who get most of the work; people are copycats, so they are all based on referrals, or advertising; why do you think agents and brokers are going around taking photos for hybrid appraisals. Of course, everything they sell is a cream puff! We have all seen the pumped up “condition” of the home being sold, written by the agent. It is all good, we are the critical thinkers and we are trained, but we are supposed to agree to having one of these untrained realtors taking photos and sending them to our desks to use for our appraisal???

      I used to do all kinds of residential properties in and around Southern California, and I did some South Central Los Angeles homes that were in depressed neighborhoods and we were using polaroid, black and white photos; I can tell you with all sincerity, deferred maintenance is lost in a photo, so photos don’t represent the actual condition, which is really up to the appraiser to report honestly; I haven’t met one agent that is objective about anything; it is all about them getting paid. As soon as the buyer says yes, they write it up and then they don’t know how to go back to the seller to get the price reduced to the appraised value, so that is why deals go bad, not because the appraiser was unfairly low! They want everything high so their commission goes up; it is about time there is a shake down in the NAR, but I am not sure the internet companies or corporations are the answer; appraisal is a “cottage” industry, mostly practiced by sole practitioners, and we take responsibility for our opinions; brokers and agents are just trying to get our work now that Artificial Intelligence is about to replace them and make them slaves for a pittance!

  3. Baggins Baggins says:

    The free market will ultimately make the decision, if the free market is allowed to function properly.  If the free market is constrained, the agents will have no choice, much like appraisers, in dealing with unnecessary middle men.  What will be the regulatory tool that these major corporations use to secure a proprietary access channel into what will become a constrained market?

    • The “Free” market does not respond in a timely manner to anything. It is always in arrears to change. Often it takes years, and even then only as a result of regulatory intercession.

      Arguably, there can be no more free-market than the stock market. Yet that free market is often the best example of why regulation is required. It is founded on taking advantage of others (investors) and from its inception has always been rife with deceit, insider trading, and corruption.

      The Great Depression was a product of the free market, left unregulated. So was Too Big to Fail.

  4. Avatar B.B. says:

    “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    • Avatar Realrose says:

      The so called “free” market is not free, unless you are the owner of your own company; corporations exist for the stockholders and backers, and that is who is backing the AMCs and so I believe strongly no bank or lender is going to self regulate; they need strict regulations, and we need appraisers to continue to protect the public trust, or we will get the crash we ask for when we trust the so-called free market.

      I drive those socialist roads, went to a socialist school, and have had plenty of experience with people using other people’s money to enrich themselves, legal or not! Crooks don’t care it is shady or illegal, they just know they want more money, and they are insatiable, so that’s why banks need more regulation, not less; I do not worship the “almighty” dollar because too many corrupt people are just overly greedy and will rip off their own mother to get ahead; to some it is a game; to appraisers, the game is almost over for the ASB and TAF!

  5. Avatar Eric West says:

    The way Zillow is conducting business is damaging to both the public and realtors. I refuse to buy anything from Zillow. They are the “mafia” of real estate. We pay them to purchase leads on our fellow Realtors’ listings. Then we can pay them to “protect” our listings from other realtors receiving leads on them. That’s literally what the mafia used to collect money for… “Protection”. Stop paying them. And stop giving them our listing feeds. Period.

  6. Avatar Jason says:

    This NAR article says NAR might not be able to do much because of Anti- Trust laws…

    ”Zillow. It would be unlawful for NAR to discourage members from using any product or service provider. Those decisions are made independently by MLSs, brokers, and agents. Likewise, it would be unlawful for local or state REALTOR® associations to encourage members to withhold listings or business from any third party, such as Zillow, or adopt policies that would preclude members from doing so.”

  7. Avatar Pat Turner says:

    Yeah yeah

  8. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    The real estate sales profession is due for a sacking.  Let the plundering begin!

    Retired Appraiser & Broker

  9. Avatar Ralph says:

    The NAR & NAHB will beat this down, they have powerful lobbies in Washington and Congress will listen to them, unfortunately, appraisers will be left getting phone calls from 19 yr old kids asking, did you receive the order?  Have you called the borrower?  When can we expect the completed report?

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Good one Ralph.  When detailing incompetent appraiser handling, don’t forget to mention the new standard expectation of writing a report up within 48 hours after inspection, regardless of how many open reports are being handled at the time.  You can spot the new people a mile away, they treat appraisers like employees not independent valuation professionals.

  10. Message to NAR…..”Welcome to the party pal”

  11. Avatar Certresid says:

    Oh? Sauron has now turned his eye to the kingdom of the Realtors? Will the dwarfs still continue to fight alone?

    To be continued


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The First AMC for Agents

by VaCAP Board time to read: 2 min