Friday, February 10th, 2006 – web 2.0 real estate

Category: Mapping, Showcase

Zillow has been getting a lot of press recently for its live mapping combined with real estate info. I even heard a blurb on NPR the other day about it. Just type in the address you are interested in and it will show you the assessed value and valuations of other homes in the area. For some houses it also has square footage, bedroom/bathroom count, and historical info. Read this for a perspective from within the real estate industry.

What impressed me from the technical standpoint is the smoothness of the mapping. It feels more responsive then Google Maps (although the window size is smaller and fixed) and there are some nice transition effects when the zoom level changes. I noticed there were some refresh issues when zoomed in to a dense neighborhood, but beyond that the mapping is pretty impressive.

insane home prices in Cali

Posted by Rob Sanheim at 10:28 am

3.7 rating from 43 votes


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They must be overwhelmed!
Here is the text from their home page:

Our apologies

Due to overwhelming demand, our beta site is down. We’ll be back online as soon as possible. Please check with us again later.

Comment by Terry Schmitt — February 10, 2006

Yea they have been getting crushed by the demand. Its worth bookmarking and checking out in a few days when things settle down.

Comment by Rob Sanheim — February 10, 2006

Interestingly enough, their UI is done using Flash, with some AJAX/DHTML along the side.

Comment by Brad Neuberg — February 10, 2006

A major component of the UI is done using flash … the rest of the site is Tapestry 4.

Comment by Howard Lewis Ship — February 10, 2006

I agree that is one of the best tools available for anyone who wants to buy or sell their house. Some of the maps are not updated on newly built houses, but I am sure they are not far behind in getting the data entered in no time.

Comment by John Alexander — February 12, 2006

It only misjudged the value of my house by $600k…

Comment by jp — February 12, 2006

Leave the comps up to companies like Fidelity National to provide the most accurate and current comps directly from the county. You always need to ask companies such as Zillow, how often they are updating their database with sales data from national compilers such as

Comment by Carolyn Covington — February 15, 2006

I dont get all the hype! just another site, some sites have the best PR agents, i wonder what they did to get the word out like they did. o well, my rating is a 1 out 10, nothing special, nothing accurate, they got the 1 b/c they look good. but i do see the giants adding this as a tool, and just making it no point to use this site.

Comment by Ashli Norton — February 16, 2006

out of many tries in a week. the site only works once.

Comment by scrappy — February 21, 2006

i don’t know what you critics are talking about. i check the sales price of my home and those of other that i knew for sure and zillow had them all correct

Comment by colin — February 21, 2006

The consumer should be vary wary of a mechanism that misses the mark on features and amenities that add value to ones home. The samples I ran on multiple homes I have recently listed or sold were in some cases 35% below market value. And, I would challange the data sources that Zeroill uses. This could cost the consumer thoulsands if this “tool” is relied upon. This system, coupled with the fact that FISBO’s in Florida (where I reside and practice) sold for an average of $40,000 less than homes that used a Realtor. Consumers, be careful of what you wish for, you might NOT get it!

Comment by George Wilkinson — February 21, 2006

i am not sure i would call DATA PORN, i mean aren’t we helping the consumer make better informed decisions, thus not relying upon the realtor as much, or at least giving the consumer the ability to know when his realtor is screwing him over?

since when is THAT PORN????????????????????

Comment by homepricemaps — February 23, 2006

I really like with all the tools available to both real estate brokers and homeowners. You can check back every week and see how much your house has gone up! It gives pretty accurate information.

Comment by — February 24, 2006

Zillow is neat, but it does not have any homes within ½ mile of me. My neighbor with whom I share a driveway just sold his home. His house is not on zillow either. What is the point of It is simply google.maps – no home prices anywhere!

Comment by Eric — February 24, 2006

I am sure that Zillow gives a fairly accurate value of a home located in the city, but they are not very accurate on the value of the land . Bare land with no improvements in the area where we live is selling for much more than they value the land that we own that has improvements. I am sure this is because of the fact that it is a manufactured home, but our whole 5 acres is fenced, has a well and other improvements.

Comment by Carol Luna — March 2, 2006

Zillow is just another great tool in the tool box. The thing is that most sellers think their home is worth more than it comps for, and the buyer thinks that the home is worth less. Check out Zillow’s margin of error. They’re not perfect. Neither is a comp off the MLS. Neither is an appraisal. But used together, a buyer or seller can point the compass in a better direction. Remember, everything is negotiatable. Your home is only what a buyer is willing to pay.

Comment by Herb Genelly — March 4, 2006

Not only did they get the value of my home wrong but they also said it is 1100 sft and two bedrooms,it is actually 2400 sft and 4 bedrooms.If any one relies on this site for valuation when selling a house they could lose some serious money.I have informed them via e-mail of there mistake 3 times now but they still have not put it right and havnt had the manners to reply to my e-mails.

Comment by Glyn Morgan — March 6, 2006

Zillow is an excellent tool. No , I would not take the valuations at face value. But, with a little analysis and common sense the data is an excellent source for making valuations. I checked 10 to 15 homes for sale in my area and found they were priced right at the “recent sales” on a square foot basis.

Comment by Ray Long — March 30, 2006

[…] Zillow and Real Estate ABC might have something to be worried about, as well as a more traditional competitors in this space. […]

Pingback by Ajaxian » Google Real Estate beta — April 5, 2006 integrates how much homes SOLD for in Portland as well as nationwide using the google mapping technology

Comment by Abbie Hoff — April 5, 2006

Great comment, I agree completely.

Comment by christopher — May 25, 2006

I was very upset at your site. My listing had several huge errors in it.
If I were looking for property I would not go to your site as it does not put accurate info. If it is wrong in mine how right do you think the rest are. There are 7 errors in mine. Wow quite a few errors. Lets see how soon you can correct it. Plus the fact that in my error prices seem to change at least every 3 months. Accurate appraisals I don’t think so when using info from over a year ago.

Comment by Bea Jordan — June 12, 2006

The problem with sitex is that it is tied to hsbc and if you are a mortgage broker or lender you are getting back solicited.

Comment by Joseph — June 27, 2006

I think buyers have access to a lot of nice financials tools for their equity mortgages now.

Comment by pol cars man — May 20, 2007

You have some CSS glitch or something that prevents any page after page 1 from loading into the printer, so I cannot print out the comments to this post.

Comment by vaspers the grate — May 24, 2007

“but banks made it harder..”?

Ever heard of sub prime?

Comment by vaspers the grate — May 24, 2007

The system looks lovely but if you can’t bookmark your favorite search then you’re lost – because every time you return you have to start over. Or maybe I missed that when I was mucking about… but they can’t afford to have people “miss that”. An RSS feed of listings would be nice too – but that kills their control of the onsite user experience.

Comment by Richmastery — June 6, 2007

Yes this is amazing indeed. Dogs and puppies can be our best friends.
So next time you see a dog with a human just think who s helping who?

Comment by Friendly Puppy dogs — October 6, 2007

Beauty is in the eyes of… well it is also being healthy and acne free.

Comment by Beauty natural skin — October 19, 2007

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