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Zillow.com Free Home Evaluation Online - How Does it Work Using Aerial Images and Comparables - Real Estate Appraisals More Accurate

May 14th 2006

Zillow.com Free Home Evaluation Online - How Does it Work Using Aerial Images and Comparables - Real Estate Appraisals More Accurate

Home and Travel

Homebuyers and sellers have a new tool that will help them determine the value of their home or homes they are considering buying. Zillow.com is a new website that allows visitors to quickly get a zestimate of a property’s value.  What’s more, you can get a birds-eye (low altitude) view of the house and estimates for homes in the area. 

Not only can you see the house from the front, but you can also see it from the back and sides using a 45 degree-angle view from the sky.  Zillow worked out a deal with Microsoft to use their Virtual Earth platform. They supplement these images with ones taken by Pictometry (these are the 45 degree angle views), a supplier of low flying photographs from planes.  

 

Zillow, founded by the creators of Expedia, is a free service and is primarily funded via local advertising. So far, since February when Zillow opened for business, the information provider moved up the ranks to become the fourth most popular real estate website, according to Hitwise. 

The Zillow zestimates are only available for certain areas around the country, but plans are in the works to include more.  They offer estimates of property values in metropolitan areas across the country including Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Detroit, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Denver, Tampa Bay, Pittsburg, San Diego, Saint Louis, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Sacramento, and Orlando. 

 

The zestimate accuracy may depend on location.  According to Zillow, some counties provide more data than others.  Some agencies may not include the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage of the home.  Zestimates are not meant to be a replacement for an appraisal, but just a quick method to determine values using comparables.

If Zillow can not come up with an estimate, the site will notify you that there is no data.  Amazingly, the program may become more accurate in the future by continually testing itself.  According to the company, they go back in time and compared the historic Zestimates with the actual transaction prices of homes that sold.

 
 
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Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

Real Estate

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