A competitor to Zillow launched a beta site today RealEstateABC.com.
Some have said that RealEstateABC produces more accurate estimates than Zillow; others have complained that it only has prices for a few properties in any given area.
In fact, ABC does not use an algorithm to calculate the values of all parcels; it shows prices of homes that recently sold (a function that Redfin has performed for a long time; the image below is taken from a Redfin query against a neighborhood in Seattle).
The site grew out of an informational Web site about the ABC’s of real estate, and still provides plenty of general information about how to buy or sell a house. Like Zillow, the site makes money by promoting real estate agents and other industry advertisers.
This isn’t a legitimate competitor to Zillow’s well-executed site, but it does suggest how easy it is to get national tax data and put it on a map. What we think is hard to do — and a little crazy — is giving consumers an online alternative to the traditional real estate industry, which of course is where we come in.