February 7, 2006 9:00 PM PST

How much is your house worth? Zillow knows

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A Seattle start-up is launching a Web site this week designed to help people get estimates on home valuations and gather all sorts of detailed information in their quest to sell or buy property.

Zillow.com, a beta version of which will hit the Web on Wednesday, is a sort of Kelley Blue Book for homes. It lets users type in an address and see specs on the home--its valuation, the date and purchase price of the last sale, and data on comparable homes. The service is free.

The site offers valuations on more than 40 million homes in the United States, with some data on an additional 20 million homes, Zillow.com said. There are an estimated 85 million single-family homes in the country, said Spencer Raskoff, Zillow.com's chief financial officer and vice president of marketing.

The ad-supported site also offers historical value changes for homes in chart form; historical value changes for homes as compared with the surrounding ZIP code, city, state or country; all comparable home sales in an area; and satellite, aerial and parcel views of homes.

Users can also create confidential personal worksheets on individual homes and use a tool that lets them refine the value of a home based on changes or additions to that home, such as a kitchen remodel. The tool calculates the remodel value for the area based on local remodel data and depreciation.

The site does not require users to enter any personal information and promises that no one will contact the user.

There are numerous real-estate Web sites now, including HomePriceRecords.com, Trulia.com. However, Raskoff said Zillow is the first to focus on home valuation data and link it to all the different information.

"Listings are out there--sites that help people find what homes are for sale," he said. "But home valuation information is every bit as important as listing information, and yet it's unique, differentiated and hard to find."

Zillow.com, the name of which comes from the word "pillow" and the notion of zillions of pieces of data, was founded by Expedia founder Rich Barton and former Expedia senior vice president Lloyd Frink. It has raised $32 million in funding from Benchmark Capital, Technology Crossover Venture and other private investors.

The Web site was inundated with traffic and inaccessible on Wednesday, but it was expected to be reachable later in the day, a Zillow representative told CNET News.com.

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17 comments

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Accuracy problem
They cover themselves by saying that their data are incomplete, but
in the case of my house their valuation is close to one-quarter of
the actual market value of the house -- and in an urban market
that changes little from year to year. The comparison is an insult to
Kelly.
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
Reply Link Flag
duhh
Homeowners such as yourself often have unrealistic expectations.

Get with reality.
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Link Flag
Doesnt support standard browsers.
I clicked the link in Safari 2.0.3 and was sent to a page that says
We do not support the Safari browser yet. Then I open the site in
the least standards-compliant browser even conceivedMicrosoft
Internet Explorerand it opens right up. How can they support a
sloppy browser that was discontinued three years ago, but not the
current, standards-compliant choice of millions?

Bad show, guys. Bad show.
Posted by the Otter (247 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Firefox
The site does say that it works with Firefox, which I found that it
did. More often than not the problem is Apple's rather than webs
site developers. Safari may be the least standards-compliant
browser offered by a major company.
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
Link Flag
Other sites of note..
Some other good real estate sites not listed are <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://SearchHomesUSA.com" target="_newWindow">http://SearchHomesUSA.com</a> for home searching and <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://CloseRealty.com" target="_newWindow">http://CloseRealty.com</a> for Real Estate Agents. Both are pretty nice with a much better navigational system.
Posted by lonewolfoolt (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE: Other sites
Yeah, there's also <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.rapidestimate.com/," target="_newWindow">http://www.rapidestimate.com/,</a> which is pretty good.
Posted by Bill24851 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Way off...
Tried our house value and it was pretty close, but a house just sold across the street from us for $200k more than they quoted, and they had the right info on sq. footage, etc. Weird. Plus, the values of my neighbors homes were below market. We recently bought our home and it was re-assessed by the city. So I suspect they're using values from public records that would be less accurate on less recent sales... esp. in faster moving markets.
Posted by onco199 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
No value
for White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC 20500

Doh!
Posted by KsprayDad (375 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Is this a joke?
I checked a few homes that I actually know the value of like my parents, my girlfriends dads place...not even close. It has my parents house as a 1800 sqf condo. its 2200 spf townhouse. the value was kinda close. my girlfriends dads place aparently jumped 300% then dropped 250% in 6 months. I hope it becoes more consistant, it could actually be a good price barameter for an area. Good luck Zillion or zillimon, whatever...and good day.
Posted by baggyguy1218 (155 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thats Nice
It really is but lets face it, its easier to list on www.westlist.com anyhow
Posted by andregangy (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ha ha
If you are looking for properties in California, Real Estate Discussions and Forums, visit <a href="#" target="_blank">www.westlist.com</a>  they just launched the new real estate community.

Whether you are a Home Buyer, Seller, Real Estate Investor, or just looking for some real estate advice, you'll find a wealth of valuable resources there.

Please feel free to participate by posting your real estate questions and advice.

<a href="#" target="_blank">www.westlist.com</a>
Posted by andregangy (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Real Estate Community Needs Your SUPPORT
If you are looking for properties in California, Real Estate Discussions and Forums, visit <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.westlist.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.westlist.com</a>  they just launched the new real estate community.

Whether you are a Home Buyer, Seller, Real Estate Investor, or just looking for some real estate advice, you'll find a wealth of valuable resources there.

Please feel free to participate by posting your real estate questions and advice.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.westlist.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.westlist.com</a>
Posted by andregangy (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Zillow.com
I hope that people are not taking this site seriously as their estimates are way off base. They compare homes from one side of the freeway in our area to the other when the other side is not such a good area, therefore de-valueing our property. I have emailed them to correct this error as our property was recently appraised for over $500,000. They are way off mark and need to get their act together as they will be doing more damage than good.
Posted by Tinkerbell46 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Zillow.com is way off base in lots of area
They appear to be way off base if you are the original owner of the home. We made extensive improvements to our home and our neighbor who has done nothing, has a smaller lot but is the second owner, has his home valued a lot higher. How do you figure? We both have the same model and even initially, we had all the upgrades that this other house didn't have.
Posted by Tinkerbell46 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
zillow.com is a rip-off
A few weeks ago, I requested a property value report and a info report on a person from zillow.com. My home is 3 years old, over 2000 sq ft, has 3 bd and 2 ba on an acre of land in a nice neighborhood. According to zillow.com, my home is worth $920! Gee, I guess I paid too much when I bought it! The info on the person was just as bad. Even with the person's ss#, full name and current address, they still gave me a report on the wrong person, and even if they had got it correct, they did not provide any of the info I paid for. Everything they said they would provide was at additonal costs. I requested a refund, but have yet to recieve a reply. This site is a total rip-off!
Posted by tatersmaemae (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
look forward to obtaining valuable info
Posted by rickmel4 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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