Zillow.com launched in beta today, offering free home-value estimates and data on more than 60 million houses in the United States. Zillow's founder and CEO Richard Barton is well known for creating online travel giant Expedia, which transformed the traditional travel industry by using the Internet to offer travel information directly to consumers. The company has attracted much attention in its pre-launch stage over the last year, with many speculating that Zillow's team could force drastic change in the real estate industry -- which historically has been resistant to new entrants. The Seattle-based company is positioning itself as a provider of research tools and information to help real estate consumers perform more research on their own. Site users can go to Zillow.com and enter their address to get their home's "Zestimate," the term the company is using for home valuation estimates calculated through Zillow. The "Zestimates" are updated daily using the company's compiled public ...
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