New Features: Fixer-uppers and Zillow Integration

The Redfin engineers have been hard at work this past month and I’m sure we all took advantage of this weekend’s rain to spend a few days indoors catching up on some much-needed sleep.

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Now what were we so busy working on?

Helping you find bargains

With the real estate market slowing down and the number of listings increasing we have heard from a bunch of users that they’d like to be able to quickly find bargains. To help users do this we have added two new searches:

Unsold in 90+ days: Selecting this checkbox in our search box will find listings that have remained unsold on the market for more than the average time for that particular market (Seattle is 45 days, San Francisco is 90 days). If you decide to make an offer, consider an aggressive one!

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Fixer-Uppers: Selecting this will find listings that match our proprietary super confidential fixer upper algorithm. These listings more than likely require that you know how to use a hammer or have enough money to tear the house down and start over again. There are currently ~100 of these in Seattle and ~400 in the Bay Area.

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Now even if you don’t explicitly search for unsold properties or fixer-uppers you might still see their icons on a listing balloon or a details page letting you know to either make an aggressive offer or to bring the toolbox.

We also took some time to respond to your feedback that the ‘Time on Market’ search feature wasn’t as useful as it could be. Now you can search for properties that have been on the market either less than 7,14 or 30 days, or more than 7, 14, 30, 45, 60, 90 or 180 days.

Bringing you Zillow integration

Every time we run a survey or hold a sushi fueled usability study we hear that users want to see Zillow information, like the Zestimate, alongside Redfin’s information on the listing. As of today, thanks to Zillow’s easy to use API, the days of finding a listing on Redfin and then firing up another browser and tracking it down on Zillow are over. We now display Zillow’s Zestimate, Zestimate Ranking and a Zestimate Value Change chart for every listing alongside the photos, marketing remarks, amenities, past sales and historical tax information.

We hope this also puts an end to the questions we often get about how Redfin and Zillow compete. We always answer that we don’t, but now we can point to not just how complementary our two Seattle based companies are, but to our actual integration together on the Redfin site (I hope that last sentence isn’t too marketing-y :) ).

What will you find?

We’re a little worried that by adding these new features we will cause you to spend even more time surfing for that next perfect real estate project instead of enjoying your current place. But hopefully you resist the urge to browse while at work. Now, it’s expected that I spend a part of my day hunting and here’s one I found in just a few minutes when I searched for fixer-uppers that have been on the market for more than 45 days in Seattle: 221 1st Ave in the Central Area.

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This is what the agent has to say:

FIXER. . Great investment opportunity!!! Restore for Victorian living, renovate for rentals, or tear down and build for cash. Interior of house has already been gutted and is ready to be remodeled. Lumber on site. Plans and permits already obtained. Potential to add on another unit in the back w/ 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths (floor plans completed). Access to the back would be on the right side of the house with front fenced is removed.

At $360,000 it’s $45,000 less than Zillow’s $405,098 Zestimate. And I’m sure Zillow isn’t taking into account the lumber on site or the permits already obtained. So with a Zillow estimate range starting at $348,384 its tempting to make an offer at $345,000, but I’m a condo guy so this place is all yours.

See the features in action

Last week, Bahn our videographer spent some time with Bryan, our Director of Product Management, to put together a quick videocast of the new features in action:

That’s all, happy house hunting, and be sure to let us know what other tools you need to find the home of your dreams!

Discussion

  • Jimmy

    Is the zillow estimate accurate? And if its not accurate, why are you posting it?

  • http://www.davidlosh.com david losh

    Glen, Glen, Glen,
    I like Zillow because it’s fun. It’s a harmless entertainment that gives people enjoyment. Your business model is dangerous to the consumers.
    This fixer scheme is another set of law suits waiting to happen. Costs of construction, location in relation to price and condition, or project viabilty is not a one size fits all. Permits do not make a project economically viable or even free the builder or contractor from future liabilty. The code has a caveat that the contractor is ultimately responsible because he or she is the one who sees the plan executed.
    It ain’t easy. Trying to present this as a internet business model shows how out of touch you are with the Real Estate business.
    Business is war. You have been contracted to try to build an internet real estste business for sale to the highest bidder. Your dream is that the advertising dollars will off set the expense of building this model for sale. It was peach tree or something that was your last project? I can’t remeber because it is irrelevant to the work you are doing today.
    Back to the war. I’ll take the challenge. I own a domain name of http://www.fixerfixer.com let’s see what we can do to each other over this business idea.

  • http://redfin.com Matt Goyer

    Hey Jimmy, Zillow estimates are accurate +/- a certain percentage and since we post the value range and link to Zillow we feel customers are able to learn more about the numbers and make a decision themselves about their accuracy.