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Home » Business, iPhone, News, Real Estate, Technology

Zillow for your iPhone

By: 4 March 2011 One Comment

One of the great things about a smartphone is that it’s easy to download all kinds of cool junk for it and — much of the time — those handy apps are available for free.

A great app for the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad is one from Zillow.com — the cats who have turned the idea of providing real estate data to the masses into a huge business.

The Zillow app for the iPhone is a thing of beauty simply because it allows the user to roam around, find what homes are for sale and get approximate fair market  values of homes in just about any given area. Simply put, hop in your car, walk down the street, pull that bike out of the garage or whatever and you can lock the app on your location and see values for homes wherever you happen to be. Or, you can simply type in addresses and see how much the approximate value of the particular home at that address and others in the area.

Combine that cool “research on the fly” feature with the one that tells you which homes are for sale in a given area and will provide you with photos and you’ve got a house hunter’s dream on your hands.

To be fair, there have been more than a few criticisms of Zillow’s estimated home values (which go under the cringe-inducing label of “Zestimates”). The chief critic of Zestmates has been the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR Spokesman Walter Molony went so far as to call Zillow’s estimates “completely wrong” when the company said the housing market was on track to lose $1.7 trillion in value nationally last year.

Fans of irony should appreciate the fact that the NAR has been accused of playing an advanced game of “let’s make stuff up and hope nobody notices” when reporting how many homes have been sold across the nation for the past few years. That being the case, one has to ask — how accurate is NAR’s assertion that home values bottomed in 2009 and are rebounding?

In short, the accuracy of Zillow’s Zestimates may be in question in some quarters. Frankly, I noticed the app assigned a value to my home that we are sure is well under what it is probably worth — my wife and I found a buyer wanting to get out of town a few years ago and were able to almost steal this thing. The sales price from that transaction was reported as the estimated value by Zillow, leading one to believe that buyers able to get a substantial bargain might find the company substantially undervalues their homes.

Still, this app is great fun and conveys a lot of useful information such as list prices, photos of homes and other great stuff. Want a copy? Sure you do. Get it here.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

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