Tag Archives: Zillow

Zillow is Stupid

In light of my recent post on my new-ish neighborhood, I thought I’d post this too.  I just got an e-mail from Zillow, the home-hunting website, that I used a year ago when I was looking for a new house.  It informed me that my house, the one I just bought, is in “pre-foreclosure” and I should go try to buy it.

That’s news to me.  So I went and looked at the information that Zillow had and it was from 2015 when the previous owners did get foreclosed on, that’s why the house was available for sale and why we bought it.  Do they not know the difference between 2015 and the present?  Are they really that stupid?

The answer is yes and this is a common issue.  Apparently, after doing a web search, lots of people complain about the same thing and this has been going on for years.  Tons of people are reporting that Zillow is falsely claiming tons of faulty foreclosures, presumably so that they get more traffic to their site.  If there are no homes for sale, Zillow goes under.

So of course, I reported that they were wrong and to get it fixed.  The other problem people are reporting is a lot of letters and lookie-loos coming around to see the “foreclosed” property and offers to buy.  All such letters will go straight into the shredder and all people who come to the door will be told that Zillow is a rip-off.  Maybe a little bad publicity will help, but I doubt it.

And yes, I know we can’t expect them to be perfect all the time, but their record is one of absurd proportions and I never would have known it had I not done my research.  Zillow just doesn’t care.  This isn’t a matter of oops, it’s deliberate disinterest.  They don’t care if they make mistakes, in fact, I’d argue they’re purposely trying to make “mistakes” because it makes it look like there are tons of houses for sale, even if there aren’t.  And come to think of it, back when we were looking, I sent a ton of addresses from Zillow to my agent and a lot of them came back as “not available”.  I wonder if that was the issue?

Update:  Zillow did get back to me and corrected the listing.  No apology for the error though.  Not really surprised.