Saturday, April 14, 2007

Zillow Ordered To Cease Estimates In Arizona, the real estate value website that has been the talk of the town for the last year or so, was ordered by the Arizona Board Of Appraisals to stop providing "zestimates" of property values in Arizona. They claim the company needs an appraiser license to do this. The full story can be found at the Arizona Republic website.

This could be a huge blow to Zillow, especially if other states start following suit. On the other hand, I can't believe no one at the company saw this coming. I'd be willing to bet they have some sort of plan to deal with it.

Personally, I don't use Zillow. I've found their valuations to be a bit inaccurate. Of course, I last looked at them in detail a year ago, when they didn't have much data in the Phoenix area to work with. Supposedly, their estimates will get better with more data.


Steve said...

I hadn't been to in forever as it was just a waste for me, living in a non-disclosure state. However, just the other day, a co-worker asked me if I heard of the site, and I saud "Yes" and went on to explain why I didn't like it (for me). I then brought it up to show him, and was really surprised at how well they have progressed. They actually have zEstimates for properties in Texas now, although, the data seems to be largely sparse. For example, one of my properties is in county "A", and all the comparables were from county "B". This lead me to believe they are only getting "large" metropolitan counties first (only?). Still a ways to go. I also liked their "birdseye" aerial view of properties, where the properties are so close-up I can make out details such as bushes and windows.

It'll be interesting to see what Zillow does about thise lawsuit, and, depending on the outcome, what other states do.

sergeson said...

Truth be told, I don't like Zillow. My agent and I did a "side by side" comparison between Zillow and what the actual comps were in our area. Zillow was off by around 20%. I guess they use some kind of equation, to determine the "value" of a property. Obviously they're off.

Steve said...

What's bad is that they started without putting a lot of needed data into their system at the beginning. The end result is that it put a sour taste in many people's mouths. I'm sure over time their app will undergo a lot of beneficial improvements and may even become something reliable. Unfortunately, it will also have to try to earn many of those early adopters back, too, which could be hard now that the initial usability has sunk in.

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