Will Zillow revolutionize the real estate industry? That's the question that seems to have surpassed all the bubble babble these past few months.
For those that don't know, Zillow is a website that claims to help home owners price their home using sophisticated computerized pricing analysis. Really it's just an attempt for the website to get their share of real estate agents marketing dollars.
Does it work? Not in Chelan or Douglas Counties. Our county governments are pretty slow to get hip to the digital revolution so Zillow can't access the recent sales info from the counties.
In places like Seattle they do have access to the numbers. IT STILL DOESN'T WORK. Pricing a home is more art than science. Does the assessors office know about the new flooring you put in last year, how about the beautiful water view you have from your home? Curb appeal has value too, but the computer will never figure that one out. If a computer or a spreadsheet is going to buy your home - fine, Zillow will work. If you are trying to market it to a human with emotions and tastes better have a human help you price it.
Zillow will be used by unsavory buyers to dupe unsuspecting sellers. "See Zillow says your home is only worth $150,000.." We'll see that house listed for a whole lot more sometime soon.
Some in the real estate industry are intimidated. I'm not. Some people need to DYI everything, most of us need help. I don't do my own dental work or cut my own hair. I trust a professional.
Zillow is a neat idea, but is still just science fiction.