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Thread: Real estate website values US properties free of charge

  1. #1
    Sovereign Grand Rossite General rossshow's Avatar
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    Default Real estate website values US properties free of charge

    Reported at Vendio:

    http://www.vendio.com/mesg/read.html...&thread=287730

    real estate valuation website that could alter US home-buying terrain launched on the Internet.

    Zillow.com was crammed with more traffic than it could handle shortly after the beta service went online Wednesday providing estimated home prices, tax records and sales histories.

    More than 300,000 pages were viewed at the Seattle-based website between its midnight launch and 7:00 am, causing intermittent shut-downs of the site, said chief financial officer Spencer Rascoff.

    "We've had a busy morning, but it looks like we're out of the woods," developer Bill Nordwall wrote in a company blog. "Feel free to kick the tires and let us know if you run into any problems."

    The website made its debut backed by 32 million dollars in venture capital funding and headed by chief executive Rich Barton, creator of online travel service Expedia.

    "Until now, finding out a current market value of any home -- whether it's yours or one you want to bid on -- has been quite difficult," Barton said in a statement.

    "We believe you shouldn't need a computer science degree or a real estate license to find out what a home is worth."

    Among the Zillow features are free "Zestimate" values of most US homes, according to Barton.

    A random request for a Zestimate on a condominium in the long-sizzling San Francisco-area housing market resulted in a value 10 percent lower than the purchase price two years ago.

    Home prices in the neighborhood rose 35 percent during that time period, according to appraiser William Brinkman.

    "How good can the service be if it shows values have declined when they've gone up in the real world?" Brinkman asked.

    The website charts how specific home values have changed over time and compared to others in chosen neighborhoods. Satellite and aerial views of some homes were available, along with details about properties and tax rates.

    Zillow is aimed at generating profit from advertising and is not intended to put real estate agents out of work by letting home shoppers and sellers do their own research, according to Barton.

    Industry experts expected Zillow to pressure US real estate agents to do more for their money. Agents for buyers and sellers typically split commissions equalling six percent of sales prices.

    http://zillow.com/
    Redfin, though less well financed than Zillow, is perhaps even more ambitious in its aim to take on the work of agents. The site, which maps listings with other sources of real estate data for Seattle, added a feature last week that allows a visitor to buy a property online.

    A real estate agent is not cut out of the process; in fact, Redfin is itself a real estate brokerage company. But the site automates the paperwork of making a bid and then rebates to the buyer two-thirds of the buyer's agent's commission, which is usually 3 percent. Redfin, as the buyer's agent, takes only a 1 percent commission.

    Redfin shows the potential savings on every listing. For instance, the "direct savings" on a $699,000 house currently for sale in the Queen Anne district in Seattle is $13,980. The buyer gets the money at closing so it can be used for the down payment or to pass to the seller if it was used to sweeten an offer.

    Right below the description of that property are two buttons, one to "see it" and the other to "buy it." A click on the see button helps the potential buyer arrange a tour of the property. Clicking on the buy button leads the visitor through online forms that generate the paperwork for an offer.

    "We won't replace the agent," said Glenn Kelman, Redfin's chief executive. "We let people who are self-reliant do the legwork and gain 2 percent." Redfin has been financed with $1.25 million, with most of that coming from the Madrona Venture Group of Seattle. The company said it was seeking additional financing to expand to other cities.

    All of these real estate sites are chipping away at the agent's business of matching clients with a property and then negotiating a deal. The Web is already displacing the initial contact that agents have with customers. A recent National Association of Realtors survey found that 77 percent of home buyers use the Internet to search for a home. About 24 percent said they first learned of a home from the Internet, up from 15 percent in a 2004 survey.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/08/business/08real.html
    The Zillow site is still in the Beta stage and they do not have all the info on properties so there is room for improvement . There is a page noting the 'zestimates' accuracy.

    http://zillow.com/howto/DataCoverageZestimateAccuracy.z


    Almost everyone I know uses the internet when searching for a home to purchase and it saves lots of legwork as the unsuitable houses and neighborhoods can quickly be weeded out.

    Most of my houses I have been able to sell without the help of a realtor so haven't had to pay a commission but often use a realtor for buying. I used a realtor to sell my last home because I wanted to quickly take advantage of a business opportunity in a new city and he was excellent to work with when it came to the paperwork and negotiations but others are worthless.

    Home inspections are almost becoming mandatory here before purchasing so there is more confidence for a buyer as any problems or potential problems are usually noted.

    Banks here don't always favor those who are self-employed so mortgage brokers can usually find the lowest rate very quickly and save a buyer from going bank to bank trying to find the best deal.
    The Zillow blog has feedback from some of the users of their site.


    http://www.zillowblog.com/zillow_blog/2006/02/what_zillow_use.html#more

  2. #2
    True Rossite Love and Devotion agogoboots's Avatar
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    FYI.

    This is showing my home:
    Bedrooms: 0 Has: 7
    Bathrooms: 0 Has 3
    Total rooms: 7 Has 19
    Number of stories: 0 Has 2
    Square Footage: 1800 sq. ft. Has: 3800 sq.ft.
    Lot size: 11.53 acres This was correct until recently.

    Assessed value land (11.53 acres total): $4,612 (Apprasial value is $10,000/ acre. Just has it appraised a couple of months ago.)
    Assessed value bldgs: $4,798
    Total assessed value: = $9,410

    Actual market value is appx. $225,000, not $9410.

    Tax assessments in my area can vary from actual value (recent construction just entered into tax base) to 40% of value, to 50+ years out of date due to no re-assessment.

    The TAX ROLL values my property at: $9410 (Fine with me, lol!)
    The LAND ROLL, for same county, values my property at: $66,550
    A CMA values my property at $225,000 (now with only 4 acres, not 11) which is what I would list it for. I would realistically expect to take no less than $200,000 min. zoned residential as is.

    The SMART way to find out a value is:
    1. Get an apprasial. Cost $400 here. It's accurate.
    2. Ask a Realtor to do a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). Free.
    It's a fairly accurate valuation based on recent actual sales of similar properties using location, square footage, number bed/bath, land size, age of property, and allowing for adjustments.

    I dread the day I have to work with clients who have looked stuff up at Zillow.

    (Opinion by a licensed Realtor.)
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  3. #3
    Rossite Archdeacon Luvcats's Avatar
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    Whoa! zero bedrooms and zero bathrooms! They must think you live in the field, agogo.

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    Rossite Archdeacon mango man's Avatar
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    we are in a hot real estate market (lots of sales in our area ) and its prety much right on for me .

    I have been doing my own comprables as I see houses sell in the hood Ive been going to the tax collectors site and pulling up the info . and the zillow site is a little high but well in the ballpark

    there was a article in the local paper a few weeks ago that quoted a couple of realtors who sid the site was a good ballpark to local prices .

  5. #5
    True Rossite Love and Devotion agogoboots's Avatar
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    Zillow is totally dependant on the tax roll in my state. And our tax roll is for the most part archaic.

    But seriously, let's talk about property values.

    Here, south of the Jackson, MS, 3 hours north of New Orleans, semi-rural residental, the going rate for new construction varies from $105 per square foot to $110 per square foot for an "average" spec house.

    What can you get for your money?
    (Here's something I sold.)





    New construction.
    1 Year Builder's Warranty.
    2438 square feet (heated/cooled)
    4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath
    3.59 acres
    9 foot ceilings, hardwood, ceramic tile, jacuzzi tub, ventless gas fireplace, 30 architectural shingles, 2 car garage, landscaped.
    Covenants. Horses allowed.
    Sales price: $240,000

    Recently I've sold 2 houses to people relocating from California, one couple from Hawaii, one couple from Arkansas. All but the couple from Arkansas were retiring here for the real estate values.

    Land prices range from $4,500 an acre for a 74 acre tract, to $15,000 an acre for a 2 acre tract. 3/4 acre to 2 acre developed lots are $32-$35,000 flat.

    Tell me about real estate where you live.
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    True Rossite Love and Devotion agogoboots's Avatar
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    Oops. Third picture should be this.
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  7. #7
    True Rossite Love and Devotion agogoboots's Avatar
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    Here's how they look when landscaping is complete.

    (Different house, same builder.)
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    Rossite Archdeacon toollady's Avatar
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    Current new construction ranges from $125 to $150 sq ft.

    2400 sq ft home similar to the one pictured above would go for 300K+, depending on size of lot.

  9. #9
    True Rossite Love and Devotion agogoboots's Avatar
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    Thanks Toollady. Where (roughly) are you located?
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    Rossite Archdeacon toollady's Avatar
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    Craven County, North Carolina

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    Rossite Priest Notamayata's Avatar
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    The 1000 square foot house across the street from us sold last year for $286,000. Using that figure, a 2400 square foot house would cost $686400 here.

    As reported in the Fresno Bee recently, the happy high bidders on a $500,000 home last year are high and dry. Just transfered they are learning about seller and buyer markets.

    It's sellers turn to beware
    Democrats - party of secession, history revision, and obstructionism.

  12. #12
    Rossite Priest Notamayata's Avatar
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    Ok, the stupid ratbastards want you to register. Here's the gist of the article, elsewhere, Here.
    Democrats - party of secession, history revision, and obstructionism.

  13. #13
    Acolyte Rossite
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    Default Real estate website values US properties free of charge

    Great resource for real estate marketing. your blog has great content having news and article. it also has simple but professional design.

  14. #14
    Rossite Priest Notamayata's Avatar
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    Without massive immigration, housing prices should decline, with other factors stable.

    With Poof the magic money, that means the prices should rise beyond most peoples ability to afford.
    Democrats - party of secession, history revision, and obstructionism.

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