Zillow Resides In Home Valuation Search

    February 8, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The buyer and seller-focused site debuted recently and offers valuations and information on over 60 million homes in the US, and delivers a map view of a property queried on the site.

Zillow Resides In Home Valuation Search
Search Your Home With Zillow

The online real estate service Zillow comes from Expedia founder Richard Barton and several of his former Expedia colleagues. Zillow lets users search for home valuations; Barton posted that their estimates (or Zestimates in Zillow z-speak) have a historical margin of error of 7.2 percent.

With data on 60 million plus homes, Barton wrote that the company had “enough data that our statisticians and engineers could algorithmically” estimate home valuations. Zillow combines that information with a mashup of online maps and imagery from Navteq and GlobeXplorer for searchers to see when they visit.

Zillow is very much in beta, and is actively seeking bug reports from its visitors. The site provides a bit more than just its search engine. Various online tools assist users in other ways, Barton wrote:

(W)e have tools with which anyone can analyze home price histories (like analyzing a stock), look at “comps,” and refine our Zestimates with information that only someone who has been in the house could know.

Homeowners can use the Zindex tool to see how other homes in the same zip code have been valued. If the homeowner has made changes to the home that may alter its value, another tool lets them note those changes to see how the valuation may change.

Zillow also lets buyers look at neighborhoods where they may be considering a move, and get an idea of how much they may expect to pay to live there. Sellers can get a feel for the comparable value, or “comps,” of recently sold homes similar to the one they wish to sell.

Barton briefly touched on Zillow’s business model. Online advertising, evident from the ubiquitous Google AdSense blocks on the site, delivers the revenue. He said the company would “strive for a high degree of relevance with the advertisements we display.”

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.