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Zillow strengthens their database with 45,000 FSBO listings

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Shoring up the FSBO market

For a long time, Zillow has offered For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listings on their real estate search site through various feeds, but today announce they will be adding 45,000 listings to the existing FSBO database. They say they have “the most comprehensive and searchable selection of real estate listings together on one map: for-sale-by-agent, for-sale-by-owner, for-rent, foreclosures, new construction and vacant land.”

Zillow seeks to attract FSBO sellers, by offering free tools to list their homes, including digital flyer and syndication tools from Postlets.com which Zillow acquired in April of 2011, making it free for all users in July.

Goal: all types of listings under one roof

“If you’re serious about home shopping and are simply viewing listings from traditional real estate websites, you’re not seeing the whole picture. Zillow is the only place where buyers can view all types of real estate listings together on one map. Our integrated approach to marketing all types of real estate listings, alongside Zestimate® home values and Rent Zestimates, creates the most comprehensive and data-rich shopping experience for web and mobile,” said Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.

According to Zillow, FSBO listings come to them not only from individual home sellers and through listings feeds from ForSaleByOwner.com™, HomesByOwner.com®, owners.com® and through Postlets.

Zillow is adding features and is expanding its offering, but continues to struggle with perception issues from a rocky past of flawed home valuation estimates (Zestimates) and surviving a major 2010 lawsuit. Regardless of brand struggles, their stock prices have held steady above the opening price of $20 per share, closing today at $25.50 and they continue expanding their product offering.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Eric Hempler

    October 12, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Looks like a good opportunity to convert FSBO into listings.

  2. jay Great Falls

    October 13, 2011 at 7:53 am

    All brokers should remove all their listings from Zillow and then see what Zillow does. Zillow wins the property searches over local buyer agents and is therefore a business nemesis to the extreme. why did brokers ever start giving their data away to 3rd parties? Many were punk'd early on and did not understand the long term implications of such "relationships." Now trulia, homes, realtor, zillow all rank ahead in even the most nichey markets over local realtors overwhelmingly. It sucks.

    I almost had a buyer buy a fsbo listed on redfin–no commission being offered.

    Redfin for listing no commission FSBOs is a traitor and can go to hell.

  3. jay Great Falls

    October 13, 2011 at 8:17 am

    My email to Zillow:

    Zillow is now listings FSBOs….You're assaulting realtors AND BETRAYING US to the nTH degree. I can work for months with somebody and now have them get a FSBO listing not offering a commission to any agent and lose my buyer if the house is just right.

    Shame on you. I will let others know on activerain, twitter, facebook, et al about your decision.

  4. Sara Bonert

    October 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    For years media outlets have listed FSBO and By Agent listings together – think about the newspaper, used by many before the Internet, they list both side by side. One big difference though is that the newspapers charged a lot to have a classified listing, while it is free to advertise your property on Zillow. That is why we consider the real estate community a partner – we get a data feed and in return we display your listings on a site that we’ve invested millions in creating to be exposed to an audience of over 24 million monthly visitors. FSBO listings are out there whether Zillow or Redfin or Craigslist or whoever put them on their sites or not. Consumers will find this information, guaranteed. Your example is a good reason to have a Buyer’s Rep agreement, if the FSBO house is indeed the best home for your client.

  5. Sara Bonert

    October 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    For years media outlets have listed FSBO and By Agent listings together – think about the newspaper, used by many before the Internet, they list both side by side. One big difference though is that the newspapers charged a lot to have a classified listing, while it is free to advertise your property on Zillow. That is why we consider the real estate community a partner – we get a data feed and in return we display your listings on a site that we’ve invested millions in creating to be exposed to an audience of over 24 million monthly visitors. FSBO listings are out there whether Zillow or Redfin or Craigslist or whoever put them on their sites or not. Consumers will find this information, guaranteed. Your example is a good reason to have a Buyer’s Rep agreement, especially for those cases when a FSBO house is indeed the best home for your client.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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