Home-valuation site Zillow.com, which offers past sales data and other detailed property information for millions of homes across the country, is opening up to real estate agents, brokers, builders and homeowners who want to post information about for-sale properties.
Another feature announced Wednesday allows homeowners to test the waters for a future home sale by posting a “Make Me Move” price for an address. The site facilitates the initial contact between prospective buyers and the owner without revealing the owner’s personal information. And Zillow is also launching a series of real estate articles as a “Real Estate Wiki” that allows site users to update and refine the articles’ content.
Even before its launch in February, Zillow has been a source of speculation and conversation for the industry. Richard Barton, Zillow’s founder and CEO, had earlier launched Expedia.com, an online travel site that put travel information directly into the hands of consumers. Some real estate industry players worried that Barton’s moves in real estate might be an attempt to disintermediate or diminish the role of real estate agents in home sales.
Several other real estate valuation Web sites have materialized on the Web after Zillow — among them Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions’ Cyberhomes.com site and Internet Brands’ RealEstateABC.com site — though Zillow is the first of this bunch to couple its database of property information with for-sale property information.
Agents and consumers can enter property information at no cost after registering at the site. Zillow charges for display advertising while offering free information to its users.
Back to top