In Patel v. Zillow, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a class action under the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (IDTPA) and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (ICFA) because the plaintiff class alleged they were unwilling to buy services from the defendant, which does not provide a basis for a deceptive trade practices claim.
The suit alleged that Zillow attaches artificially low estimated values to homes listed for sale by their owners, or labels such listings "suspect," in an effort to steer owner/sellers toward brokers who paid to advertise on Zillow. The plaintiffs alleged they were unable to sell their homes for the prices they desired due to the low estimates Zillow placed on their homes and the "suspect" flags. Zillow responded that it notes on its website that all listed values are opinion estimates only, and not proper appraisals.
The court agreed with Zillow, finding that Zillow's estimates were opinions of value only, and therefore non-actionable under the IDTPA. The plaintiffs' ICFA claims also were non-actionable because the owner/sellers had not bought any goods or services from Zillow and could not allege they were deceived in any way.