Thursday, March 30, 2006


New Home Valuation Site Rivals Zillow

"Even before the digital paint has dried on, a real estate valuation site that launched in beta form in February, an alternative site has sprung up at Both sites offer free home-price estimates to consumers at no charge and without requiring any form of registration." You can read the whole article Here, written by Glenn Roberts from Inman News.

"The site typically generates 30 comparable sales for each subject property, and users can edit this list of comparable properties by selecting and deselecting other comparable properties. The ABC Values tool features a Google-based mapping platform that identifies a subject property with a distinct icon that resembles a blue house. Comparable properties are listed on the map with reddish house-shaped icons, and other properties in the area that sold within the past five years are posted on the map as beige house-shaped icons."

This is another amazing site worth looking at, but like Zillow, it does have its limitations.

Like most people trying the site out for the first time, I entered my home address with anticipation of more miracles, a real estate appraisal with a push of the button. Unbelievable, 30 comps appeared, just like that. All of my neighbors were right there, within a quarter mile of my home.

Impossible, I thought, since I've only seen a couple of homes sell recently around here. Well, of course, there's only one home listed here that's sold within the last six months. The rest go anywhere from the summer of 2005, all the way back to 2003. Nice information, but maybe not too relevant. You never know. The dollar per square foot value for a specific address in 2003 may have the makings of a future interactive trivia game.

Find an agent. For $25 I get listed. For $200, I get listed as a featured agent within a zipcode that I get to own for a year. Instant credability. That's easier than passing the State Broker's exam!

The "Adjust Value" features are pretty cool. You can have some fun with these. However, even as a Real Estate Broker, I wasn't sure how to accurately tweak the "slider".

Hey, and don't forget that other site that launched this week as well, "Electronic Appraiser."

"This is more than just a face-lift," said Greg Sullivan, president and CEO for Electronic Appraiser. "We're continually identifying areas to expand and evolve how we distribute our services. Our customers can expect processes to be easier for all segments of our products, as well as more resources related to residential real estate. Our growth in service offering and continued profitability shows that the value in our products is proven instantly." (From a "Business Wire" released today).

I do agree with what Amy Bohutinsky says about both sites below. Consumers are more sophisticated now and will demand a much more up to date information platform to help them make a well informed decision. These sights will develop over time, definitely improve, and eventually change how we do real estate business in the future.

Amy Bohutinsky, a Zillow spokeswoman, said the launch of another valuation tool is more proof that consumers are hungry for real estate information. "I think what you're seeing is evidence that there's a great consumer search for more information on the Web, and consumers want data that's traditionally been very hard to find online for free. Valuations and data on 60-plus million homes is a first step on what we see as a marathon of opportunity to give consumers tools and processes. This is our first step. Seeing other sites out there develop consumer tools and information is a great thing."

A statement at the Web site notes that the ABC Values tool uses "methodologies similar to those used by Realtors, brokers and appraisers -- although we highly recommend that you consult local professionals to obtain an expert opinion. There is no substitute for deep local market expertise."

Comments: integrates how much homes SOLD for nationwide using the google mapping technology. Simply select city and state from the city menu and click search. If you don't see data for your area simply email with your zipcode and or address and they'll update the site with your info and email you within a few days.
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