Zillow's Impact On Day 1

Despite the fact that the Zillow site spent most of the day gasping and sighing, a ton of digital ink was spilled discussing their service (or lack thereof). Here are the articles I found most interesting from Day 1:

By the way, if you scrol through this Technorati search, you’ll notice that not only was I the first blogger to break the story, but I announced Zillowblog an hour before it went live!)

24 thoughts on “Zillow's Impact On Day 1

  1. I have to admit that the “concept” of all that data compiled in one area sounds great however, the results that I received while using Zillow was less than excellent even for a beta. Out of the 5 properties that I submitted to get their value, 4 out of 5 of them came back with the wrong value. How do I know they were wrong? My collection of entries were my own house and houses of my clients that I have sold and have recently checked the value on all 5 of the houses based on my market knowledge, selling experience and expertise. In fact, Zillow told me that my house was worth over $50K less than what I paid for it over a year ago. In addition the information that Zillow was using was wrong. It has the wrong bedrooms and bathrooms which is interesting because my house is new construction and has had no remodel and the tax records for King County are correct. So, where did Zillow get this info from….. I’d like to know though, maybe I can get my taxes reduced 🙂

    I strongly believe that there is no replacement for an agent’s experience in seeing the homes quirks, knowing how well the home showed and what the emotional “catch” was when you walked through the door that caused the home to sell for above the listed price or below the listed price. These are all things that an automated system cannot account for, I don’t care how good your algorithms are particularly because in the Seattle area our homes are all unique. Homes are built and remodeled in different time periods, with and without finished basements and full of character, charm and sometimes eccentricities that cannot be compared to another house on the block. I don’t think that Zillow has accounted for this, at least not in their beta as the information I received was just way off even though they have a fun concept to play around with. Overall I think it’s just that but I wouldn’t want to rely on it’s data as a sole source of info.

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  3. I had the opposite experiance as Heather. I checked my house, 3 family members and five appraisels from recent rate & term refi’s. All had correct information about the property and mached value very well.

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  5. I gave it a whirl and was less than impressed with the results! The information was incorrect including comps used to compare my home to. I agree with Heather that the replacement of a realtor is not likely to ever happen no matter how hard they try! I hope uninformed consumers do not take this inaccurate information and use it to try to sell their own homes, because if they do…..some people will end up getting screwed! Who in their right mind would want to plug in information on the largest asset they own and take the word of a computer system to provide them with an accurate value??? It’s just not possible!

  6. We also initially checked some properties and some were almost right on and others were a 10 – 27% off. I then ran a current sample using my MLS data of 25 random properties in three counties. I charted the MLS listing price, the MLS sold price (all within 7 days) and the current Zillow estimate and then charted the results. We threw out the high and low and came up with an average of +- 2% which is pretty good and better than the margin Zillow indicates of 7.2%. You can take a look at the research on our sites blog. We are also looking for more real life examples to add to the model….

  7. My report on Zilllow… Two weeks ago I had an appraisal done on my home by a very experienced appraiser. The appraisal came in at $440,000. My Zestimate came in at $448,676. That’s about 2% higher then the actual appraisal. I’m impressed.

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