Will Zoocasa's free appraisal service catch on?
Real estate aggregator website Zoocasa continues to alienate just about everyone else in the real estate business.
When Zoocasa first launched, the syndication service said it would work in tandem with the real estate industry in Canada. But lawsuits between it and Century 21 quickly showed that not everyone saw things the same way.
Now, it’s real estate appraisers that are pointing the finger, criticizing the company’s recent launch of its Zoopraisal service that allows both prospective buyers and nosy neighbours to receive instant estimates of a house’s worth using existing appraisal data.
The Zoopraisal service also lets you refine the estimated value of a home based. For example, if you've added a bathroom, you can refine the value based on this change.
The estimate, which is based on similar properties in a neighbourhood and not on any specific report is generated using data provided by property valuater Centract Settlement Services.
Zoocasa maintains the service isn’t intended to replace the services of professional appraisers or real estate agents, and the estimates are just that – estimates.
Traditionally, the only way to get a written estimate of a house’s value was to call a real estate agent with an appraisal background. But as data become more available, web services such as Zoocasa and Nova Scotia's Viewpoint are continuing to makes it easier for consumers to get a handle on their local real estate market.
Obviously the result isn't perfect, since without actually putting it on the market and reaching agreement about a price, you can never know the "true" current value of your home.
But it is a start.
Have you filled in the numbers on houses in your neighbourhood? Do the results seems to make sense?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money