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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Every House Is on the Market

Real estate site Zillow is Web 2.0-ifying the house selling industry by providing information about every house in the country, regardless of if it's for sale or not. In the process however, they may be making realtors less necessary.

Zillow has basic info about nearly 70 million homes, and through it's cool mapping software, you can type in an address and find an estimated price for every house in your neighborhood and graphically see which are for sale, and those that sold recently, and at what price. Homeowners can also post a "Make Me Move" price if they want to consider selling their house without putting a sign in the yard. You can also search by price or number of bedrooms by area.

The company has created a web page for every home and allows homeowners to dress up their pages for free with more info or pictures. Realtors can post their contact information on each home that they have on offer to make it easy to find representation. Zillow is developing services for realtors, who have as much to lose as you and I have to gain using Zillow. Since most of the services appear to be free, I'm guessing the realtors will pay for participating, not homeowners.

The data isn't perfect as my home's description is off in both the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, although the square footage was correct (before some recent improvements). While Zillow correctly identified several homes around the corner that had recently sold, a new development that went up last year is still shown as a grass field. The interactive maps make it easy to expand your search and visualize what's happening nearby. Even if you aren't in the market, it's fun to play around.

Zillow is open for people who claim to own a home to change their info, but there may be a time when the company has to tighten it's security if people want to abuse the privilege.

By John Gartner at 03:47 PM | Comments (0)

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