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February 10, 2006 at 2:31 PM

Zillow.com: As overheated as the market

Like the housing market, the splashy new Web site that prices homes got a little overheated in its debut. Seattle-based Zillow.com launched a beta version Wednesday to much fanfare. The 300,000 page views that hit the site in the first seven hours knocked it down for half a day.

As real estate’s answer to Google, Zillow lets anyone enter a home’s address and spews back the estimated value. At least Zillow’s managers are being frank about the feedback. Among the criticisms from users: the estimates are off, the facts about their homes are wrong, they can’t find their homes or they don’t like the site.

And something about the calculation appeared to be backwards, since removing rooms or a story added value to the house. Says Seattle Times real estate reporter Elizabeth Rhodes: “I’m getting out the chain saw this weekend. Instant equity!”

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