Free Value for Real Estate Launched by Website

Saturday, February 18 2006 @ 08:05 pm UTC

Contributed by: jron

In San Francisco, California, On Wednesday, was crammed with more traffic than it could handle shortly after the beta service went online providing estimated home prices, tax records and sales histories. A real estate valuation Website that could alter US home-buying terrain launched on the Internet.

Said chief financial officer Spencer Rascoff, more than 300,000 pages were viewed at the Seattle-based Website between its midnight launch and 7:00 am, causing intermittent shutdowns of the site.

Developer Bill Nordwall wrote in a company blog, "we've had a busy morning, but it looks like we're out of the woods."

chief executive Rich Barton, creator of online travel service Expedia,heads the Website made its debut backed by $32 million in venture capital funding.

Barton said in a statement, "Until now, finding out a current market value of any home - whether it's yours or one you want to bid on - has been quite difficult," he also added "We believe you shouldn't need a computer science degree or a real estate license to find out what a home is worth." According to Barton, Among the Zillow features are free "Zestimate" values of most US homes.

According to appraiser William Brinkman, home prices in the neighborhood rose 35 percent during that time period, he added
"How good can the service be if it shows values have declined when they've gone up in the real world?"

Satellite and aerial views of some homes were available, along with details about properties and tax rates, the Website charts how specific home values have changed over time and compared to others in chosen neighborhoods.

According to Barton, "Zillow is aimed at generating profit from advertising and is not intended to put real estate agents out of work by letting home shoppers and sellers do their own research."

By: Dijon Wainwright