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Local homeowner claims Zillow giving preference to realtors

Value of home decreased by Zillow
Posted at 6:00 PM, Dec 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-13 12:13:46-05

A Las Vegs valley family is selling their home. To do it, they turned to a popular real estate website. But the homeowner says there's a problem. Contact 13 looks at why one local man says he's not being treated fairly.

"I posted my home "For Sale By Owner" on Zillow," says Jake Skabelund.

He's asking for $320,000 for his home in Mountain's Edge.

"It's a four bedroom, three bath house. The square footage is right at 2,000," says Jake.

Jake says Zillow's initial estimate for his home was $285,000. But he says that quickly dropped to $271,000.

"So over the course of a few minutes, my home's evaluation went down by over $10,000. And I didn't understand why," says Jake.

He knows potential buyers are looking at what Zillow calls a Zestimate. And Jake found other comparable homes in his area getting much higher evaluations. But he says the one major difference is, he isn't using a realtor.

"I understand the realtors are probably paying Zillow's bills," says Jake.

Jake says he understands Zillow uses a number of factors and housing industry calculations to come up with his home's value. But he feels Zillow is giving preferential treatment to homes sold by realtors.

"I genuinely think that is happening, and I think that they need to disclose that."

So Jake reached out to Contact 13 for answers and we called Zillow. The online real estate company says listing your property for sale by owner does not affect your Zestimate. The factors that will include; your location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and your county property assessment, just to name a few.

Zillow says they plan to reach out to Jake about his concerns. But Jake says he's not happy with Zillow and has regrets.

"They need to make people aware of the fact that they're doing this. And if I was aware of it, I wouldn't have listed my home on Zillow," says Jake.

Zillow statement:

Listing a property as ‘For Sale By Owner’ does not impact the Zestimate. The Zestimate is a starting point for determining a home’s value. It uses a sophisticated computer algorithm to determine an estimated market value for more than 100 million homes around the country. There are many different factors that go into the Zestimate - such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, location, and nearby sales.

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