A would-be Zillow competitor is having some trouble getting off the ground: ComeHome, a new home search portal from real estate predictive analytics firm HouseCanary, has deactivated all of its property listings as of Friday — essentially turning itself off — after multiple listing service executives told Inman they were surprised to learn their organizations’ data was appearing on the website.
ComeHome launched quietly in late 2018 and has been in beta mode. The website, which has a Zillow-esque map-based interface, was still displaying properties Friday, but they all showed up as being off-market. Users could still click on properties, but doing so only brought up a basic page that lacked listing photos, descriptions and other basic data.
That’s a dramatic change from Thursday, when ComeHome appeared to be a fully functional portal with thousands of listings, each of which included photos and other standard information.
Denise Dunckel, a spokesperson for ComeHome and HouseCanary, told Inman Friday that listings had been taken down while the companies review all of their contracts with multiple listing services.
That review and the deactivation of ComeHome’s listings comes the same day that Inman reported the new portal had apparently been pulling MLS listing data despite, in some cases, not having a contract to do so.
Lauren Hansen, CEO of IRES MLS in Colorado, said that hers was among the MLSes that found its listings on ComeHome.
IRES was investigating the situation Thursday night, and received a message from ComeHome Friday saying that it would take down IRES listings.
“We are actively working on removing these listing, and I will send a follow-up email when it’s done,” ComeHome’s message to Hansen stated.
Hansen told Inman she appreciated ComeHome’s response. She also believes ComeHome intends to pursue a standard listing agreement with her MLS, though the details of any contract are yet to be determined.
On Thursday, Art Carter, CEO of California-based CRMLS, also told Inman that ComeHome was using listings from his service without an agreement in place. He did not immediately respond to Inman’s inquiry about whether or not he had received a note like Hansen’s — though ComeHome’s decision to deactivate all listings means CRMLS data is also no longer publicly available on the portal.
It was not immediately clear Friday for how long ComeHome’s listings would be deactivated.
HouseCanary, a San Francisco-based company that wants to become the Amazon of the appraisal industry, launched ComeHome in November.
The portal aims to differentiate itself via a pricing breakdown that shows how homes are valued.
For example, the site tells visitors if a home has more or fewer bedrooms than surrounding properties, and how that layout affects its relative value. The valuation tool draws on HouseCanary’s background in using contextual information to produce valuation data.
In an email Thursday, Dunckel told Inman that the goal of the new portal “is to create a compelling and differentiated home search experience for consumers focusing on our deep property analytics.”
After Inman began inquiring Thursday about MLSes that said their listings were on ComeHome despite the lack of a licensing agreement, Dunckel said that portal got its data “directly from MLS feeds that HouseCanary has agreements with.”
“Any time we determine we are not in compliance with terms of any MLS license,” she added in an email, “we will remove those listings from the site until we have the proper paperwork in place.”