Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


Do You Have Issues With Zillow?

I used to have issues with Zillow.  Even wrote a couple of blog rants about them.  But I got to like these guys a lot more after I met Sara Bonert at an Inman Connect a few years ago.  And today, I started to like them even more, especially now that I have Spencer Rascoff's email address. 

When National Public Radio did a piece on a few years ago, I thought "No freakin' way!"  And they will convert me to a real fan the day they get the Zestimate on my house within 20% of it's actual value.  And I'll admit that they are getting closer than they used to be.

And while my own house's magic number is a little off, they do pretty much nail the prices in neighborhoods that are a bit less architectrually diverse. 

One of the things that Spencer dealt with at his presentation at Rain Camp in New York was the challenges they face in many cities, like Washington, DC house values.  But when he explained what they were doing to make it work, I was impressed.

So, when I get a few minutes, I may send Spener some information about my little block of Washington, DC row houses.  Which ones are renovated and spetacular?  Which ones are granny houses with kitchens that were state-of-the-art in 1938?  Which one is inhabited by a hoarder who's let it fall down around his ears?

And what's important is that they have a mechanism for incorporating this type of information into their Zestimates. 

These guye are pretty clever after all.

But for right now, if you want to know about Washington, DC house vallues, I am probably still smarter than Zillow's computer!

Comment balloon 12 commentsPatricia Kennedy • January 12 2010 01:31PM


Nice post, Patricia.  You have the one thing that zillow does not - eyeballs!

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Currently going through a major challenge with zillow marketplace with mortgages. Big changes with pricing starts Wednesday and they still don't have a prcing model. Very frustrating. They want a depost of $250 but don't know how to charge.


Posted by Tony Grego, 317-663-4173 #1 Trade Association for Alternative Inv (REISA - 317-663-4173) almost 11 years ago

Sara seems more approachable after watching her video blog, same with Spencer. I don't "hate" them like I used to. So long as they don't pull the stunt Redfin did by trying to spit on our feet. I do appreciate information being provided to consumers. I prefer it to be accurate and not misleading. This also puts pressure on the beloved & even RE/ which is great for me and other RE/MAX agents. More competition means better services for everyone.

For now I'm still on the fence.

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 11 years ago

I have my ups and downs with Zillow, but I enjoyed your post.

Posted by Kathy Hyatt ~Plantation, Davie, Sunrise REALTOR, Broward Realtor Selling Plantation,Davie & Sunrise (Remax in Motion ) almost 11 years ago

I never know how to feel about zillow.  What do you think about them now charging to enter listings?

Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) almost 11 years ago

Thanks for the update, Patricia.

In my area, Zillow rarely provides a zestimate anywhere near the right price for a property. Sometimes they are way too high, and sometimes they are way too low - not even consistent. I beg clients - buyers and sellers both- not to take these zestimates too seriously. Until Zillow can get somewhere close to the right price, they should not be providing this "service" IMO.


Posted by Lynn Michaels, Marlboro-Manalapan Real Estate (RE/MAX Central- Marlboro & Manalapan, NJ) almost 11 years ago

Patricia - I love it "But for right now, if you want to know about Washington, DC house vallues, I am probably still smarter than Zillow's computer!"

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) almost 11 years ago

Pat - Well I have grown to like alot of what they do and provide to buyers. But the way they handle listings stinks. Case in point - I now have two "listings" showing under my name. One was removed from the market in July of this year. THe second came off the market at the beginning of November.

And what's worse? WHen I try to edit there is no option to delete or sho either of them as no longer available - its pending or active.Wrong choices.

They do now have my new listing (as of Friday) showing. 1 out of 3 - not the greatest odds iin my book.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

Personally, it is not my favorite website - but then there are so many that I don't care for because of the information they provide-

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 11 years ago

Zillow is often wrong.  Their zestimates both confuse sellers and make them harder to reason with.  I see no upside.

Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) almost 11 years ago

Pat - judging by all these comments, these rainers need a presentation from Spencer to convert them.  I was not a lover of Zillow before Raincamp, and though I'm not one now, he did succeed in changing my negative opinion to one where I think that zillow's are on the right track.  I can see why they're giving a run for their money.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) almost 11 years ago

I always like to check my listings on zillow to see what they zestimate. I had a buyer a few months ago who refused to offer more on a house because of zillow estimate .

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 11 years ago