Friday, May 24, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
Who wouldn't snap up this apparent bargain, if it weren't for the fact that by now, most people know that such "bargains" are almost always scams. This one appearing on Zillow last month was. But according to Zillow, over 1,500 people clicked on the website, and 123 people saved it in its first day online.
This is an old scam, which Zillow and Trulia are actually getting better at sorting out lately. They missed this one. The "Sellers" claim to be a property management company and specify that the property is available for first-time buyers only: "no lenders, no investors, no wholesalers, no attorneys and no one that has ever owned a property." According to the Zillow listing, the sellers "own many homes across the country, and once a year they "sell one or a few to first-time buyers for under $50,000."
The fraudulent listing also states the home is occupied by tenants, and due to their lease, must have 48 hours notice before an interested buyer can see the property. But before ...
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
Inman News, the real estate industry's leading news source reports today that "Your Next Home Will Find You." Apart from the obvious "Big Brother" tone this carries, I kinda doubt it's good news on the way.
The article claims that in a few short years, customer and property data will be blended into a "dynamic information matrix" which will allow new algorithms to create tools for buyers and sellers to find each other. The end result will be finding the perfect home for a buyer by "interpreting, predicting and weighing the risk and rewards associated with a specific house purchase or sale." The process will take a buyer's data history, accumulated before and during the act of buying and selling, mixed with property information.
I can only imagine this is going to be like NetFlix suggesting a movie I might like, only with Zillow running the database. If that's the case, I can only see a future in which I "find" my movie using a voice-activated interface like Alexa running on thi ...
Thursday, November 29, 2018 / by Andrew Rohle
A colleague in my real estate universe, Jay Thompson, wrote a blog recently that jogged a point I want to make. He described an airline flight experience he had on a trip home to Seattle which I would like to relate to illustrate my point:
During boarding, the passenger in the seat ahead of Jay placed a bag under his seat, blocking the space for Jay's feet. Although Jay asked the passenger to put the bag under his own seat (per standard airline regs) the passenger refused to move the bag. Instead, the passenger reclined his seat and with a surly attitude, ignored Jay's requests.
A flight attendant responded beautifully to the situation, and Jay's description of what followed is more brilliant than I could ever relate:
"The flight attendant was a consummate professional, apparently either insanely well-trained or experienced in this situation. Given the frightening level of human ineptitude often displayed around airplanes, I suspect she has seen and dealt with all ...
Friday, August 10, 2018 / by Vanessa Saunders
We've written in the past about Zillow and the problems it has with its Zestimates of home sale listings. (We even caught it listing the White House for sale, which we thought was hilarious until we remembered that it's inhabited buy a guy in commercial real estate.)
Recently, Zillow was caught using listing prices to tweak seriously off-the-mark estimates., something it said it never did. But in a story in Inman News recently, Zillow confessed that they have used listing prices in certain circumstances.The story details how Sacramento appraiser Ryan Lundquist noticed homes Zestimated at one price, which magically changed when the property appeared at a price divergent from Zillow's.
Lundquist posted, "This property was priced too high at $380,000 and Zillow's estimate was at $380,414. The price was reduced to $335,000 and right away Zillow's estimate changed to $346,364. This makes me think Zillow's algorithm gives huge weight to the actual list price. Hmm..." ...
Monday, January 29, 2018 / by Beryl Oles
Global Property Systems recently had an unusual listing, even for us. It was a lovely property for sale at $3.5 million. The owner was very amenable to renting the home as well, at $16,000 a month. This was a fact that real estate marketing giant Zillow.com just couldn't get its digital head around.
When Zillow posted the property, which it took from our local Multiple Listing Service, it couldn't bring itself to post it as both a home for sale OR for rent. It took the staff at Global Property Systems the better part of last week, wrestling with Zillow drones who kept trying to find ways WE had input the data wrong. (Remember, Zillow takes it's information from the MLS, and we and the MLS had it posted correctly.)
The homeowner was rightfully upset that the leading real estate marketing site in North America had put up faulty information and couldn't seem to set it right. My thanks to our Zillow Strategic Business Advisor Aleks Danilov to go to bat within hi ...