When it launched earlier this year, Zillow came in for its fair share of abuse from Curbed commenters for offering New York City property estimates that, in most cases, seemed far divorced from reality. (For instance: the property featured yesterday in Washington Heights, seen above on Zillow this morning, is on the market for $2.475 million.) Today, Zillow has introduced a new set of tools that—while not likely to alter the official estimates much—allow users more control over their property profiles, including inputting their own estimates. Zillow's CEO Rich Barton blogs:
In my case the public records say that my house has 2.25 bathrooms, when there are really 3.5. Zillow now presents my facts side-by-side with the public record facts. Additionally, I was able publish My Estimate of my home’s value letting any prospective buyers know that we remodeled 2 bathrooms, added a home office and a laundry room, and did a basement remodel including a wine cellar.The catch: to confirm "ownership" of a property, Zillow presents a list of names and asks you to choose the correct one. Of course, 10 seconds spent with PropertyShark or ACRIS turns up that data, so in essence, this is a a gentleman's game. Play nice, won't you?
· Zillow's Database is Now Open [Zillow Blog]
· Zillow Adds User-Generated Home Information [TechCrunch]