Zoopla has defended its online valuations, saying they are simply estimates.
A story in the Hull Daily Mail quotes an agent, Freda Dean, manager of Zest – which displays prominent OnTheMarket branding in its window – saying that the valuations are panicking some home owners, while raising false hopes in others.
Dean told the newspaper that some valuations are up to £100,000 out.
She said: “We’ve seen a lot of people come through the door recently who have used Zoopla to value their house and are shocked by the news they received.
“Some are pleasantly shocked because their property has been valued way above what it is actually worth and it is left to our staff to tell them the truth.
“Others are devastated because they know what they have paid for their property and the website is quoting a far lower value.”
According to the newspaper report, Zest research shows that the Zoopla website stated that a property in Cavendish Road, east Hull, was worth £279,125. However, it sold for £179,000.
Another house, in east Hull’s Mead Street, was valued at £77,259 when it was actually bought for £119,950.
Zoopla also valued a home in Kingswood, Hull, at £221,586, which sold for £188,000.
Dean told the newspaper: “This could just be the tip of the iceberg.
“These are just the people coming in to see us.
“There could be many more people out there who see these valuations online and are put off trying to move house at all because they don’t think their home is worth enough.”
However, Zoopla spokesman Lawrence Hall told the newspaper: “Our Zoopla estimates are our assessment of the current market value of a property.
“We are careful to call them estimates as, in some cases, our data might be incomplete or inaccurate, and so we encourage our users to help improve the accuracy by adding information via the ‘refine estimate’ links and button across our site.
“Our estimates are constantly refined, using the most recent data available and a variety of methodologies in order to provide the most current information on any home.
“However, they are not formal valuations and cannot be used as such.”
The full story is here