Yahoo! + Zillow!

by Osman Parvez

Yahoo! will now be using Zillow's technology to provide home value estimates, a switch from Homegain.

A smart move, in my opinion. Zillow's interface and thoroughness is a big improvement on what's out there for the typical homeowner. For a casual look at what your home (or your neighbors) might be worth, Zillow may be the best online source of information. If you haven't already, check it out. It has a super easy interface, including Ajax driven mapping with satellite and hybrid view options. Quite entertaining to use! Of course, If you're seriously thinking about listing your house, I still strongly recommend an opinion of value from a qualified agent. I've seen more than a few occasions when Zillow is very inaccurate and in this market climate, "testing the market" or otherwise mispricing your property can be a serious mistake in the marketing of your home.

Will web 2.0 companies like Zillow and Refin replace realtors? Here's what the always insightful Altos Real Estate Research Blog had to say,

"Realtors are not going away, their value is shifting from owning the listing to building their clients' confidence about their buying & selling decisions. The best real estate agents have always been local market experts. But now we live in a world where 80% of real estate buying and selling starts on the Web. So your client's head is filled with visions of the real estate bubble and a price number from Zillow and school data from Redfin and today's open homes from Trulia. So Realtors have to stay a step ahead, provide clear, actionable information, and strong, insightful guidance. They have to interact with their clients like never before. Ultimately the real estate agent who makes their clients confident and successful in their transactions will win this game. For agents, it's no longer about answering "what's for sale?" or even "what price?", it is about the Why, When, and How of the transaction. It's about demonstrating expertise."

Hat Tip: Altos Research

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