Zillow.com up to this point has been known for providing estimates for home values. Type in your address and out pops an guess at what your home is worth. In some areas the guess can be close and in others it is just a joke. Which I believe makes the site fun to browse but not of value for much else.
Zillow announced yesterday that they are now offering to post properties for free on their website. Whether you are an agent or a “for sale by owner” you can get additional exposure on one of the top five real estate websites in the world with over 3 million visitors a month. After you post your home I would not expect it to result in a flood of new activity any time soon. Right now there are very few postings to the site so buyer traffic will be limited. Buyers may come to check it out but leave quickly for other more populated sites like Realtor.com. Remember also that home estimates drive seller traffic to their website but not necessarily buyer traffic. As an example try this: Go to a search engine and type in “homes for sale” and what do you see. Realtor.com. No sign of Zillow. Now type in “home value”. Now you can see that Zillow is #1.
Don’t get me wrong Zillow is a major player and this will be a major portal for finding and selling real estate. It just is not there yet. Funded by big bucks from venture capitalists and headed up by the former leader of Expedia they have the money and the know how to make big things happen. This could be the next big thing in real estate. If Realtors® start posting their properties to Zillow along side of FSBOs you will see some of the power of the MLS slowly start to drift away from real estate agents. The dominance of the MLS will be here for years to come but this is perhaps the first major challenger to the old school way of buying and selling real estate.