Trulia takes a swipe at the heart of Zillow, launches its own home valuation tool

One of the key advantages that Zillow has held over its rivals is the Zestimate. Love it or hate it, Zillow’s automated home valuation service has helped snare curious users who’ve wondered about the current value of their own home or the dilapidated cottage down the street.

Now, one of Zillow’s biggest rivals is experimenting with a similar service. San Francisco-based Trulia this week introduced a test version of Trulia Estimates. Like the Zestimates, Trulia’s new service provides an estimate of a home’s worth.

Unfortunately, at this time, the Trulia service is only available in San Francisco. Zillow certainly has quite a lead in this regard, with tens of millions of Zestimates for properties in the U.S. (And rental Zestimates).

It certainly will be interesting to compare the two services. And while you can’t do that in Seattle yet, I gave it a try for a home in Hillsborough, California that Trulia had displayed on its blog.

Zillow’s Zestimate for the property — which according to Trulia recently sold — was $1,529,000. Trulia, on the other hand, placed the value on the 3-bedroom ranch at $1,819,646.

Obviously, that’s a pretty big swing in estimates.

Trulia says that it plans to roll out its service nationwide, but at this point it is just collecting feedback from those in the San Francisco Bay Area.

While we hope that Trulia Estimates gives our users more useful information about their homes, we know that these estimates don’t replace the need for a professional appraisal. Trulia Estimates is just a starting point. On every page with an estimate, we make it very easy for consumers to provide feedback on the estimate and connect with a nearby agent to get a professional estimate.

  • Dave

    The competition between these services is interesting. I used to love Zillow for local information, less about Zesstimates and more for recent sale and for sale information. Their recent sale information has seemed much less accurate lately. I recently found Redfin to be much more complete and robust locally, and I’d never tried Redfin until a couple of months ago.

    For the price estimates, it is worth checking the home value tool on Chase.com. It is very complete for local data and updated frequently. From talking to Chase, that tool gives a much better estimate of the lender’s view of the values. It is lower than Zestimates but the banks valuation is the one that drives the loan which drives the ultimate sale price in many cases.

  • http://www.jrotech.com/ Jeff Rodenburg

    Layering in crowd-sourced information for making property price evaluations? Users are going to be motivated to assess property high (like a neighbor) or low (like a prospective buyer), not accurately. Even accounting for discrepancies and outliers in an algorithm, the source of the information is already at odds with the goal of the data.

    Not saying Zestimate is end-all-be-all, but I really question the value that Trulia can get from user-supplemented data in this scenario.

  • TenaflyRobin

    Love the tell us what you think box.  Local real estate agents can chime-in with their ops.