Zillow.com Free Home
Evaluation Online - How Does it Work Using Aerial Images and Comparables
- Real Estate Appraisals More Accurate
May 14th 2006
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
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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