Here's the first thing I like about Zillow. And I like this part A LOT. Zillow is NOT a lead-reseller. if my client goes to Zillow, they'll print out the Zestimate and bring it our our office, and we'll talk about it.
If that client went to a site such as HouseValues.com, they would be required to fill out a personal contact form, they would then be sold as a "lead" to a member agent, and that "local" agent would start bombarding them with emails and phone calls (I think HouseValues calls it a "Drip campaign")
The Zillow model is obviously better for me, as a broker, since my client can go to Zillow, search around all they like, and Zillow does NOT in any way interfere with my relationship with that client.
Here's the next thing I like: We make the Zillow Zestimate report part of the data we review with buyers and sellers. We'll print out the zestimate in addition to pages from RealEstateABC, Property Shark, and HouseAmerica. Then we include these with data from Dataquick's Data Express, title company comps, and the three MLSs that over lap in our area. We'll sit down with the client, review all that data, add a dash of our own brand of "Street Smarts" and there you are.
What Zillow does need: A big fat CYA disclaimer on their initial entry page. Maybe this will be a requirement of any settlement reached. You have to dig a little to find the current disclaimers.
Whoever thought there'd come a day I'd be agreeing with Glenn Kelman?!?!! "Glenn Kelman, the chief executive of Redfin, a Seattle online real estate service that utilizes data from Zillow, said he thinks the complaint is a "publicity stunt" motivated by appraisers who have a financial interest at heart. He has no plans to remove Zillow data from his Web site." (Quoted from a Seattle PI article) Who'da thunk it!!
A Google Blogsearch on Zillow NCRC serves up a whole platter full of interesting reading.
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