LAS VEGAS -- Representatives for Google and Zillow, during a National Association of Realtors technology session Wednesday, assured real estate professionals that they are allies, not enemies. "A valued, trusted consultant is absolutely fundamental to the process. I would not do a transaction myself without an adviser, and I don't know many people who would," said Rich Barton, Zillow founder. Barton, who earlier founded online travel site Expedia, said that real estate transactions are more complex than booking a trip, and "for the vast majority of travel transactions they are total commodities," with no consultation required. The Internet isn't going to change that for the real estate industry, Barton said. "No data supports this fear, this myth that the Internet is going to dramatically increase (for-sale-by-owner sales) vs. agent interactions," he said. Zillow offers automated home-value estimates, other property information, a question-and-answer forum, and real estate search and m...
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