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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weak dollar drives strong numbers to real estate web sites

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    I wrote here some months ago that developers and others interested in propping up sales in the current weak market would do well to focus overseas, where most currencies are strong against the weak U.S. dollar.  Now, without

Bottom fishing is not just an American sport.

even trying, the CFO of Zillow.com, the real estate web site that features estimates (they call them "zestimates") for more than 80 million U.S. homes, says his company's site has seen a 50% bump in traffic from overseas during the last year.  And more than 8% of those checking out prices of real estate in Florida are from outside the U.S., as are more than 4% of those looking at Las Vegas properties.  Bottom fishing is not just an American sport.  However, some one needs to warn all our Euro friends that, by the time they get here, gas at the pump in Las Vegas might be more expensive than in Liverpool.
    The Zillow exec says all this overseas traffic has come without the company doing any brand awareness advertising at all.  They don't really have to in this Internet Age.  When I plugged into Google the search terms "U.S. real estate prices," Zillow.com came up second on the list of places to check.  It came up third when the terms were "U.S. home prices."
    Zillow, and its rival Trulia, are still not perfect, but they continue to refine their algorithms to come a little closer to true market value in their estimates.  And, according to the Zillow exec whose interview with the Wall Street Journal online you can watch by clicking here, his company now permits homeowners to edit and update information about their own houses.  I just added an update about a kitchen remodeling we did a few years ago and it automatically changed the estimated range of our home's value. 

    However, don't go adding too much to your estimate just to pump up your home's value; you never want to be the most expensive house in the neighborhood, and at Zillow, the world can see not only what your house is worth, but what your neighbors' houses are worth as well.

Read 3860 times Last modified on Sunday, 27 April 2008 10:59
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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.


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