Go ahead, I dare you... search through the history of this blog... search for the term 'Zillow'. I doubt you will find anything. Zillow.com has been a hot point of discussion in the real estate industry at least for a year now (I first heard about Zillow in February of this year).
Zillow was a site that offered an Automated Valuation of a property. It was a place to perhaps find out what your own property was worth... or even find out what a particular property that you may have been interested to buying was worth. Zillow called these valuations... Zestimates. These zestimates are often way wrong. I won't get into the particulars as to why the values were so far off... I'll simply point you to most of the real estate related weblogs on the sidebar to the right and you will be able to find all the info and debate you can handle.
As of yesterday, Zillow has added another feature. ANYONE can now list property for sale on their site. This is the first real shot across the bow towards the traditional business of real estate as it applies to service providers (Realtors, the NAR, Brokers, Agents, you name it).
There is currently only one listing (at the time of writing this post) for sale to be found in the 86401 zip code. It is a listing of mine in the Lazy YU subdivision (a fairly exclusive area where you'll find larger homes on a hill side with incredible views of the city, the mountains, sunrises, and sunsets). It won't be too long until there are more listings shown. I'll be putting up the rest of my inventory a bit later, plus I am listing a new home in the Golden Valley area that will be there either today or early next week.
You might saying something like what is the big deal?? Well I'm going to point you to a well thought out article by Greg Swann for all the juicy details. Please read that. I'll simply say that Zillow will challenge any FSBO search site and very soon render them useless. Then Zillow will also even stare down Google Base and Trulia before very long. And most importantly (to me) Zillow will have the traditional MLS in it's cross hairs. Why?? Because it cost me zero dollars to post my listing today, while in the near future I will wager that the offerings on Zillow will rival the listings in the MLS (data exchange here in western Arizona).
If I am right, I will have a decision to make. Will I continue to be a Member of the data exchange?? Will I even need to be?? What is an MLS or our own WARDEX (that I am a Director of on the Board of Directors) going to do for me that Zillow won't be able to?? Offer me commission??
The game is on... and the other team just brought in the ringers.
Drew Myers has a roundup list of Zillow related articles today.
Ardell at Rain City guide has a similar list going as well.