It's a seller's market for Zillow.com

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Submitted by PerryChase on December 6, 2006 - 11:17pm

It's a seller's market for real estate web site Zillow.com
By Annette Haddad, Times Staff Writer
7:34 PM PST, December 6, 2006

Real estate Web site Zillow.com became an instant hit by telling homeowners -- and their nosy neighbors -- how much their house might be worth.

Now, the Seattle-based company will help owners get the word out about how much they want in a sale.

Starting Thursday, Zillow joins a growing list of Web sites that allow homeowners and real estate agents to post virtual "For Sale" signs for free. The feature also plugs a hole on the site, which touts a database of more than 60 million U.S. residences but no information on what most viewers want to know: Is this home for sale?


Full LA Times Article

Submitted by an on December 6, 2006 - 11:26pm.

That is great news. This is the tip of the iceberg. The internet revolution has finally hit the RE industry. It'll be interesting to see where things will go from here.

Submitted by brian_in_la on December 6, 2006 - 11:38pm.

Hmmm, I wonder if this is linked to the zillow data disapearinig from the zip realty website. Any info on that?

Submitted by rankandfile on December 6, 2006 - 11:38pm.

I would love to see the sale of homes provided in an open atmosphere. I am skeptical, however, and feel that the real estate industry will do their best to either gain some sort of stock (control) in it or try to subvert it somehow. Control the database (MLS) and you control the game.

Submitted by powayseller on December 7, 2006 - 6:59am.

Did you guys read Jim Klinge's blog today - the darn MLS fined him $150 for putting a link to a YouTube home promotion video on his MLS listing. The video resulted in a New York couple coming out here to buy that house. I have never heard a single realtor say a good thing about the MLS. They are kind of crafty and cunning - they suck the life out of their members and keep regulators at bay. They are mean and nasty and powerful.

Submitted by PerryChase on December 7, 2006 - 3:20pm.

I'm hoping for a MLS/Zillow/ZipRealty/SDLookup/Amazon Reviews all in one. I love SDlookup and I beleive that SDLookup.com has the potential of containing the history of all the properties in SD County. Great site. Also SD lookup shows information for commercial properties as well. Did you guys see a comps report from costar.com for commercial properties? You have to pay for their reports.

I think that if we had a wikipedia/marketplace of residential properties, then buyers and seller can share all kinds of information and trade their properties more easily.

Jim Klinge is right, an open MLS will democratize and open up the real estate market. It will change the industry but will increase transactions and liquidity.

The Internet will bring disruptive changes. It's just a matter of how long the NRA can delay it. A real estate market crash will bring on changes faster.

Submitted by powayseller on December 7, 2006 - 5:32pm.

I'm sure the NAR attorneys are working some all-nighters to figure out how to sue the zillow folks right into bankruptcy. I hope the Justice Department won't let them get away with any more BS.

Submitted by an on December 7, 2006 - 5:50pm.

I just tried out their site with the new features. It's quite nice. Being able to see which house is for sale on a map of the area you're interested in is great. I highly doubt NAR have a case against Zillow since they're nothing more than a hub for information. Just like eBay in a way, except for real estate. Whether they succeed or not is on how much traffic they can generate, not how much houses get sold. Since they make money on advertisement, that's all they care about.

Submitted by powayseller on December 7, 2006 - 5:56pm.

NAR will say that zillow does not offer the consumer a fully informed service, since they do not have agents which educate the customer. They used a similar angle and succeeded in several states banning discount brokers, because they argued the discount broker does not provide the customer with the required level of service.
I wrote about it here

Submitted by an on December 7, 2006 - 5:58pm.

That might work w/ discount broker but I highly doubt it will hold against Zillow. One major difference is, those discount broker are selling the houses. Zillow is not selling the house. The broker & owners are selling the houses, using Zillow's database as a way to advertise. So, if NAR use that angle, they can deflect that straight to the agents & home owner who are posting the for sale information.

Submitted by powayseller on December 7, 2006 - 7:21pm.

AN, how does the new zillow program work? Say you have 50 houses you want to see (you need to see a lot, so you know what is a good deal). You would call 50 different listing agents to show you the home, or do you contact the seller directly? If you can just contact the seller, then you can act as your own agent? Pretty cool.

Submitted by an on December 7, 2006 - 7:30pm.

Depend on whether it's a FSBO or agent represented. If the agent is representing the owner and agent put it on Zillow, then agent put his/her contact info. If it's FSBO, then owner put their contact info. It's really up to the person putting in the information. I don't think Zillow knows who it is. I'm sure there's a question in there, asking whether you're the owner or agent, but I don't think Zillow checks.

If you used Zillow before, then you'll notice the new map now have yellow flag for recently sold homes, red flags for homes that is up for sale (agent or owner put it up on zillow), and blue flag = "make me move" house. You can use the map to pan around to the area you want and you'll see the different flags. Quite cool actually. They also have option where agent/owner can put up pictures as well.

Submitted by sdcellar on December 7, 2006 - 7:39pm.

PS, check out Jim Klinge's listing and see for yourself. Jim's contact info is right there, so an interested buyer can just ring him up.

Here's a Make Me Move listing. Sellers are emailed anonymously and can proceed as they choose (a la craigslist).

Submitted by jg on December 7, 2006 - 10:13pm.

Thanks for the links, sdc. Neat site it is, now.

Technical question -- I'm over 40, so I'm slow to learn these new software things; I know how to use 'enable rich-text' to make a 'hot-link,' but don't know how to make such (1) open up in a new window or (2) specify a title (e.g., 'Jim Klinge's listing'). How to do such?

Thanks for your help!
Old Geezer

Submitted by an on December 7, 2006 - 10:35pm.

To make links like that, you need to follow the format:
(a href="site you want to link to")Title you want(/aa)

Change) with > and ( with <

Submitted by powayseller on December 7, 2006 - 11:49pm.

jg, under the Comment box, just to the left of "preview comment", is a link called "more information about formatting options". Click that for instructions on various HTML codes, such as bold, italic, and your question too. That's where I learned how to do it.

Submitted by sdcellar on December 8, 2006 - 12:51am.

jg-- Those are both good suggestions, but to answer your two questions specifically, just enter the following:

<a href="http://whateveryourURLis.com" target="_blank">Link Title</a>

You can do this in the standard reply box without using rich text. The part that says target="_blank" is what makes the link open in a new window.

If you want to use the rich text editor instead:
1) type the link title first (e.g., 'Jim Klinge's listing')
2) select that text with your mouse (it will highlight)
3) click the link button (near the formatting icons, looks like a chain)
4) A popup will be displayed where you can enter the actual URL and select the option to open the link in a new window (or not). Ignore the "Title" field in that popup as it won't actually help you.

Submitted by sdcellar on December 8, 2006 - 1:01am.

In a nutshell, this:

<a href="http://www.zillow.com/HomeDetails.htm?zprop=16591981" target="_blank">Jim Klinge's listing</a>

will become this:

Jim Klinge's listing

(I'm really plugging Jim's listing today!)

Submitted by jg on December 8, 2006 - 9:04am.

Got it! Thank you for your patience with, and assistance to, the elderly!

Submitted by powayseller on December 8, 2006 - 11:31am.

jg, you look more like a young stud than "elderly" :)

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