Zillow Won’t Replace Agents


Zillow is a popular real estate website that offers lots of interesting information for consumers. But even Zillow’s own CEO is quick to point out its limitations.

“We haven’t put the real estate agent out of business,” Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said in a recent interview. “Because real estate is emotional, expensive and infrequent. Booking an airline ticket, I can do that by myself, I don’t need a travel agent. But buying a house, I can’t do that by myself. I do need a real estate agent.”

Zestimates do not accurately calculate home values.

Rascoff acknowledges that their popular Zestimates are just that – rough estimates.

According to Zillow’s own website, about two out of three Zestimates in the greater Seattle area are off by 5% or more. One in three is off by 10% or more. And a surprising one in ten is off by 20% or more. A real estate agent who specializes in the area can give you the most accurate value for a home.


The Zillow CEO’s comments are supported by industry surveys like this one.

Nearly 90 percent of homebuyers use a real estate agent to find a home, and that percentage is consistent regardless of age.


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