I’m going to just humbly place here what I wrote in 2006:
… what if Zillow’s reach becomes so great, their data become so vast and inclusive, that their Zestimates significantly impact what is fair market value? What if the purchasing and selling population refer to Zillow as the end-all, be-all estimator for their homes’ valuations? What if “close enough” is “good enough”? What if they become the de facto standard for home valuations?
Perfection with regards to a property’s valuation is a fluid thing, a moving target dependent on the “right” buyer who is ready, willing and able.
Can their data aggregation ever mitigate and/or minimize sufficiently the potential impacts of those unzillowable features? Doubtful, but they may be able to minimize the impact of the data’s shortcoming, provided they are accurate elsewhere. Might Zillow become just another tool used by Realtors?
And then look at what Zillow just announced the other day (they couldn’t have done this in their first few years, but now they have critical mass … and I’d wager they have the public’s trust as well.
Today Zillow announced enhancements to the Zestimate® home value that allow homeowners to edit their home facts on Zillow and, depending on the new information they provide, potentially see an immediate impact on their Zestimate. For instance, if the square footage of a home is out of date on Zillow, the homeowner can correct this information and see an adjustment in their Zestimate.
Can listing agents use this feature to affect the Zestimate?
We encourage you to work with your seller prior to placing the home on the market to ensure all information on Zillow is accurate. If your seller is concerned about the Zestimate, check the home facts and make updates where needed. We suggest you communicate that the Zestimate is an estimate, not an appraisal.
I’m going to just repeat what I said in 2006 –
Realtors’ complacency and dependence on the MLS will be their downfall … Zillow, et. al. “get” that the data needs to be accurate; many Realtors don’t. Here’s a thought – what if Zillow starts charging Realtors for access?
And while I’m noting how so little has changed in 7 years:
I wrote this in 2008 –
listing agent on listing i just picked up pulled all the photos and wiped the data – that's petty.and kills data integrity.
— Jim Duncan (@JimDuncan) January 8, 2008
And made the same remark last week –
Here’s the thing re: MLS quality. I’m looking at historical listing in the MLS. Agent stripped the photos. Zillow has ‘em. #DevaluingtheMLS
— Jim Duncan (@JimDuncan) February 25, 2015