Redfin unveils Home Price Tool, an alternative to the Zestimate


Everyone wants to know what their home is worth, one of the reasons that Zillow’s Zestimate has helped establish the Seattle online real estate company as a go-to source for real estate information. Now, another Seattle online real estate company is jumping into the mix.

Redfin today is rolling out a new service called Home Price Tool that’s designed to help home owners get a better idea of what their property is worth. How is that different from the Zestimate?

I posed that very question to Redfin’s Matt Wakefield, who noted that Home Price Tool uses the same data and process that real estate agents employ to come up with their price estimates for homes.

“It’s not an automated valuation model. It’s user-driven, and technology-supported,” explained Wakefield. “Zestimate serves a need in the market for a home owner who is curious about their home’s value, and wants a simple answer. There’s value in it, and that’s why Redfin puts Zestimates on our site. But for people who are serious about selling and want to start the pricing process, they’d be better served creating an estimate on the Home Price Tool and then contacting an agent.”

Jim Lamb, lead product manager for Redfin, called The Home Price Tool a new way for home owners to get an idea of what their home is worth.

“They no longer have to accept what their agent or some website’s mystery formula tells them their home should be worth,” Lamb said.

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  • Karen

    As usual, Redfin is on the cutting edge with tools for the consumer. As usual, they and their cut rate model allows homeowners and buyers to substitute years of experience and credibility for yet another gimmick. As a broker I have seen time and again the fallout consumers who use “discount brokers” suffer.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B2KVZZ43CYF4ZJDQLXOQG6NFOM Seattle

      Karen – I don’t think this tool “substitues years of experience” – it’s an informational tool that helps me understand better what my home is worth.  And I applaud Redfin for continuing to iterate on the concept of helping buyers and sellers be well-informed.

      And what turns us off entirely is the broker/agent self-entitlement attitude against educated buyers/sellers.  That meme is played out, washed up, tired.  

      Please understand:  Your customers are not idiots.  We appreciate guidance and extra insight in the buying/selling process that Realtors bring, and we’re able to make adult decisions about whether that data is valid or not. 

      Adapt to survive.  If Redfin does a good job, it will continue to thrive.  If it sticks with a 6% fixed rate and hidden data from customers, it’ll die, like the current industry’s dinosaurs.

  • http://twitter.com/parkerknapp David Milesi

    This tool is great. It would be nice if Redfin could provide more guidance on the comp adjustments. 

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Redfin for continuing to empower the homebuyer! As homebuyers ourselves, we’ve found that traditional agents’ “years of experience” don’t provide much tangible benefit. Buying and selling real estate requires two parties to negotiate a price and to fill out forms. The agent is basically a glorified concierge and chauffeur, handing off the real heavy lifting to qualified professionals such as inspectors and attorneys. Redfin has recognized this inefficiency and is moving with great agility to remove it and other obstacles from the real estate sales process.

    Of course traditional agents want Redfin to fail. Horse and buggy salesmen wanted Henry Ford to fail, too.

  • http://walawrealty.com marc_h

    While I don’t share Karen’s pessimism about Redfin or other alternative real estate models, ahem ahem, I see that Redfin’s new tool has the same short coming as Zillow’s Zestimate and other similar automated valuation tools.  They’re using county assessor data which is notoriously inaccurate.  I just ran my house through their system and they’ve underestimated its size by 60% thus the value they give it is a fraction of it’s actual worth. 
     
    I didn’t spend long on the site but it didn’t seem that there’s any way to adjust the details of the subject property being evaluated so that it matches reality and not just county records.

    • Matt Wakefield

      Marc – Matt with Redfin here. We hear you about not being able to adjust the subject property and we’re definitely working to add that functionality to the Home Price Tool.  

      • http://walawrealty.com marc_h

        Then you’ll really have something.  Nice work.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B2KVZZ43CYF4ZJDQLXOQG6NFOM Seattle

        That’s great, Marc!  Excited to see upcoming features.  I, too, have missing elements – 2 new bathrooms, 400 sq ft new detached living space, that are legal and permitted but, alas, missing from the tax records.  Plus things like hardwood floors throughout, new stairs, complete rewiring, new sound-dampening windows (thanks airport noise!), two new decks, solar skylights, and a completed “unfinished” space that expands the house’s living space.  My bank for a refi just did an assessment and got $275k, but zillow’s silly zestimate says $100k less in value.  Not helpful in pricing a home, Zillow!  But I can’t wait to see what’s going to come from Redfin.  Always wonderful stuff (even the edgy stuff that pisses people off)!!!!