Zillow CEO lists house for sale and then this happened...

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Palm Beaches Mark Gregory Gingrich

Well, well, well. So Spencer M. Rascoff, CEO of Zillow lists his home for sale and of course the listing shows up on his site. But there are a few interesting observations to point out, and I couldn't believe this so I had to do a little double-checking and it seems that it is all the truth.


          You see, Spencer listed his home in July of 2015 for $1,295,000.00, no big deal right? Well the “zesti-estimate” for this  home displayed on his site at the time was $1,626,772. Wouldn’t you have loved to have been in the room for the conversation Rascoff had with his Real Estate Agent? There were two successive price reductions all the way down to $1,138,900. Here’s the best part, are you ready for this? It actually sold on 2/29/16 for $1,050,000.00…$576,772 less than his sites estimated value! Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.




         As I was checking out the numbers here I noticed some other problems, for example. Redfin has the current property value at $1,301,601.00, up $255,601.00 only about 60 days after it sold, really? So he listed it for $1,295,000.00 and had to drop the price about $250,000.00 to $1,050,000.00 to get it sold, but Redfin says it made that value up in two months?



          Why do consumers go to these third party sites? The short answer is because the vast majority of Real Estate Agents do such a poor job at offering real value to consumers. The longer answer is that it’s Big Business. These third party “portal” sites are spending millions on advertising and making millions off the backs of Consumers and Agents that succumb to their “easy” way of getting leads by doing the work for them. It has become a vicious food chain. The vast majority of consumers believe that these are legitimate Real Estate Sites, they are not. As Mr. Spencer M. Rascoff said himself in an interview on October 12, 2014; "Were a media company, we sell ads not houses, were not a brokerage, were not an mls, we sell ads.”

            I think it’s really a shame that the system wound up like this. Too many bad agents that don’t offer any value and advertising Portals that act like they’re in the Real Estate business, no wonder we have to work so hard to get the internet consumer to engage with us.


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Posted by

Mark Gregory Gingrich, PA
Keller Williams Realty of the Palm Beaches
2901 PGA Blvd. Suite 100 Palm Beach Gardens Fl. 33410
Direct: 561-236-6902
Office: 561-656-2929

Comments (4)


Get real. This is 2016, the internet isn't going anywhere. People check online before buying anything from cars to vacation packages, of course they are going to check online before buying a house. Anyone who willfully isn't is just being an ignorant ostrich. And once you start looking online, there are only a few sites with near-comprehensive listings of real estate inventory, and one of those is Zillow.

This is why Craiglist is the biggest site for rental listings right now. Even though the site is crap, they have a vast number of rental listings available, and that's what people want. Options. This isn't about agents providing poor value (even though they are), nor about "big business" -- Craigslist is non-profit. They have listings. People go there to look at listings. Zillow has listings. People go there to look at listings.

I don't know why senile real estate agents don't get this, and they insist that sites like Zillow and Trulia are somehow practicing voodoo magic to hypnotize people into visiting their site. But then again, senile real estate agents don't get things like the internet or social media anyway, so maybe it's just the fact that they are senile.

I'm sure you would prefer we live in a world without the internet. Frankly, the internet wouldn't miss you. Senile real estate agents are irrelevant the same way senile travel agents were made irrelevant by Expedia. Good luck with whatever on earth it is you think you're accomplishing by publishing an asinine post on a site nobody even reads if it weren't for the fact that you put Zillow in the title and it got picked up by search engines.

May 04, 2016 02:15 PM
Mark Gregory Gingrich
Keller Williams Realty Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL


Lol, I love the first response probably from an employee? Don't know. I was a Zillow Premier Agent for some time and closed a large amount of business with them until they doubled my monthly spend overnight. I am a very tech savvy agent and live on-line, despite what Mr "youarealoser" above thinks. And I love this because I knew it would not take long at all for this kind of response to show up...the hateful defenders.

Of course!! People go to the internet for everything that is exactly my point. They interview an agent that is telling them that their house is worth $1,100,000 and should list if for $1,099,000 and that seller is looking at Zillow who is saying the home is worth $600,000 more! Exactly! And that agent has to defend and explain his position against the GIANT… and who does the seller give more weight too? Of course, Zillow! “You are just an agent and that is Zillow…what do you know?” I’ve had that exact problem many times and the opposite while working as a buyer’s agent and the price of a home the buyer wanted was zestimated way to low, I had to argue and argue and the clients loose homes because they are basing their actions on incorrect information they perceive as accurate…even when presented with hard cold factual comps straight out of the MLS!

That is my whole argument here. Every agent should download the Danger Report, it’s free. Number one problem facing Real Estate Agents?

A1 -  Masses of Marginal Agents Destroy Reputation

A5 - The Decline In The Relevancy Of Agents

A10 - The Agent Is Removed From The Transaction

The agent is becoming irrelevant due mostly to the destructive actions of themselves, the industry and the third party portals. Mr. Rascoff created Hotwire.com and worked at Expida for a decade…know many Travel Agents? IMO, Real Estate agents cooperating with any of these third party portals is like the Gazelle inviting the Lion over for dinner.


May 05, 2016 12:13 AM

Full disclosure: I'm a Redfin agent (previously with KW). Redfin is not an advertising/media company, we’re a full service brokerage. Just like KW (or any other brokerage), we have our own search portal. Ours is just way more advanced than the typical portal and offers features such as the Redfin Estimate. The estimate is based on sold data from the local MLS; anyone can view the comps the estimate is based upon on the home’s page. When reading about the estimate, the page clearly suggests to reach out to a local professional to get a more accurate estimate. We’re trained to explain the estimate is just a starting point, and that it can’t consider the home’s condition, seller’s motivation, etc. Just like other industries (i.e., Uber vs taxis), technology is rapidly changing real estate by providing more power and data to the consumer. Sometimes the data is accurate, sometimes it’s not. It’s up to us as local real estate professionals to know the difference and educate our clients. If anything, I think this provides more opportunity to provide value!

May 05, 2016 09:19 AM