Industry News

Zillow gets brokerage license

Online company aims to improve home-value data

Zillow, a new online home valuation site for consumers, has a real estate broker's license in Washington and four other states and is planning to add more, the company confirmed today.   The company, which launched Zillow.com in beta two weeks ago, is exploring options to improve the breadth and accuracy of its data, according to company spokeswoman Amy Bohutinsky. "Becoming a broker in multiple states is one of the things we are exploring, as regulations and data availability vary by state and we think this could help," Bohutinsky said in an e-mail. "We do not plan to be an agent or act as an agent in any real estate transactions," she said. Zillow offers consumers free home-value estimates and data on some 60 million houses in the United States. The company gets its data from county records and uses an algorithm to update values daily. The algorithm carries a 7.2 percent margin of error, according to tests performed by company statisticians. Zillow warns that data in some part...

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