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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.

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