Kudos to a weblog that I have just recently come across (thanks to Carnival of Real Estate) on debunking the all-hailed Zillow.com.  I have heard a lot of buzz about Zillow, but have never personally checked it out (being a commercial realtor and not nearly as involved in the residential market).

Greg Swann at BloodhoundBlog has done a fantastic analysis of how Zillow.com works…or more properly, how Zillow.com does NOT work.  Take a look at the link below to see the thorough discussion of their pricing methodology vs. how Realtors do price comps.

Link: Debunking Zillow.com….

The point is that, whatever it is that Zillow.com might be doing, what it is not doing — what it cannot be doing — is evaluating houses. This simply cannot be done by the methodology Zillow.com has employed.

I will definitley be keeping tabs on his future entries.  I suggest you do the same.

(EDIT 12/1/06: corrected misspelling in link to BloodhoudBlog)

5 Thoughts on “Greg Swann vs. Zillow.com”

  • Oh, bless you for that!
    The Zillow mystique is analagous to the aura that surrounds the nutritional supplements business. No can possibly confuse a clerk in a GNC store for a physician, but people like the idea of being liberated from the dictates of their doctor while going one up on him at the same time.

  • Tell the world: Zillow.com is bunk . . .

    I wrote Debunking Zillow.com on July 25th, two weeks ago today. Without being arcane or technical, I think it completely demolishes the idea that Zillow.com can or ever can provide reliable home values. Nathan Hughes at Richmond Busines…

  • Dave: I certainly believe that everything has its place. Do you have specific uses in mind for Zillow? I think it is most important to keep in mind its limitations. From everything I’ve seen, I’m more inclined to think it will only reinforce what a person already believes about a property, whether it’s true or not. That sounds pretty dangerous to me.

  • Absolutely. Like anything else you have to take it with a grain of salt. Let’s say that you know a neighborhood, and you know that two blocks over from a certain spot, prices shift dramatically. It’s hard for Zillow to calculate strictly mathmatically, and it can never add the human factor, but you can. And if your a realtor, you could always peek at zillow just to see what the “blind inhuman math” says about it, after you do your own comps. Being able to pull up the maps is nice too, though there are plenty of places on the internet these days to look at properties on maps.

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