Zillow vs Appraisal Ethics Rules

Although Zillow claims that the Zestimate is not an appraisal it appears that the majority of the public considers them as such. In my conversations with local real estate agents I hear countless stories about how home sellers believe in the Zestimate, and because of this, they pressure the agent to list the home for the value given, especially if it is higher than what the agent believes they can sell it for.

Zestimate vs. Appraisal
Because so many people do see the Zestimate as an appraisal I thought I would take a look at how the two compare when it comes to what is required to be done from an appraisal standards perspective. Read more »

Tom Horn
Latest posts by Tom Horn (see all)
Tom Horn

Tom Horn

Tom Horn is a certified real estate appraiser in Central Alabama and author of the Birmingham Appraisal Blog. He started appraising in 1990 and obtained his SRA designation from the Appraisal Institute in 1995. He speaks regularly at local real estate offices to help bridge the gap between appraisers and agents.

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4 Responses

  1. Avatar Carl says:

    Great analysis. This will be interesting to follow.

  2. Avatar Jason says:

    We need to take our profession back and leave the true opinions or estimates of values to the licensed professional appraisers.

  3. HW HW says:

    Hopefully such lawsuits continue against Zillow, Trulia, and any other entities that think they can circumvent federal and state laws such as Fannie Mae does by operating outside of the parameters of their Charter that strictly prohibits them from having any business operations in the primary market and mandates their operations to be confined to that of the secondary market only.

  4. Avatar koma says:

    Bing Maps is now giving out estimates on home values. WTH! When appraising a property I always look at multiple maps (tax assessor/county/state flood/google/bing/etc) of the subject to see if anything sticks out before venturing out the door. Well on left side under the address seeing some info about the house sf/site sf/year built and I click on the drop down and it starts talking about their “estimate of value” and “Comparable” nearby homes.

    Well, lets take a look at their comparables. Actually just one because the orders are coming in before the holiday. First the subject is a 4/2/1 single family house built in 1920. They list the address of their comparables and wouldn’t know it one is a 5/3/2 sf house with an attached studio apartment built in 1930. Just have to give the next 6/3/1 sf house built in 1956. Realize that I’m giving you not much info., but you get the drift though.

    This is just crazy! AVM’s are leading us to the next crash.


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Zillow vs Appraisal Ethics Rules

by Tom Horn time to read: <1 min