Zillow sued over Zestimate display: Making sense of the dispute

Lawsuit alleges that Zillow 'concealing' home valuations for certain brokers hurts competition. Does it hold water?

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Inman Connect San Francisco, Jul 16-20, 2018

Real estate giant Zillow Group has been hit with an antitrust lawsuit alleging the company is restraining competition between real estate brokers by making deals with certain brokerages to hide Zillow's home valuation estimates ("Zestimates") on the brokerages' for-sale listings. Whether the suit has legs is yet to be determined, but an antitrust attorney who spoke with Inman about the complaint said he is "not sold" on the claims. The details of the dispute, filed in New Jersey district court, are as follows: EJ MGT LLC, a New Jersey-based company that owns a multimillion-dollar property in Cresskill, New Jersey, filed the complaint on Jan. 15. EJ MGT put its property, 142 Hoover Drive, on the market in January 2017, but the property failed to sell. The complaint blames the Zestimate on the property's detail page on Zillow.com, which put the property's value at less than half of the listing price. According to Zillow's website, its median error rate for homes in Bergen Coun...