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surefield55Seattle-based Surefield announced a new tool today that offers a transparent way for Washington state home buyers or sellers to figure out how much a property is worth.

The company, which was launched last year by Redfin founder David Eraker, says the tool cuts out the professionals and gives everyday users the information they need to come up with a valuation.

Surefield's Pricepoint feature.
Surefield’s Pricepoint feature.

Instead of relying on an opaque formula, Pricepoint uses machine learning and data from the Multiple Listing Service to show users comparable homes in the area. It then lets them filter the results based on things like lot size and price per square foot.

David Eraker, Surefield co-founder and CEO
David Eraker, Surefield co-founder and CEO

“Finally, consumers can get an instant and accurate home valuation without the hassle of talking to an agent or relying on a secret formula that doesn’t look inside the home,” Eraker said in a press release. “Pricepoint is the only free tool that gives a totally transparent home valuation without turning you into a lead.”

The tool is a direct challenger to Zillow’s “Zestimate,” a popular service that automatically updates a data base of home values three times per week based on public and user-submitted information. Zillow’s tool is built around a proprietary formula that spits out an estimated market value. That’s different from Surefield’s strategy of essentially offering a way for users to see all the data for themselves.

Zestimate was launched in 2006, so it has quite a head start. It’s also joined in the space by similar services from companies like Realtor.com and Redfin.

The competition underscores just how crowded of a market Surefield is going after. The company, which just focuses on the Seattle market right now, is trying to carve out a niche by offering virtual tours. Instead of clicking through a photo slideshow or bugging homeowners with in-person visits, Surefield uses 360-degree cameras to capture 3D models of the homes listed on its site.


Home from Surefield

The company is backed by Skype founder Jaan Tallinn, 500 Startups, Portland Seed Fund and angel investors.

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