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Jim Klinge
Cell/Text: (858) 997-3801
701 Palomar Airport Road, Suite 300
Carlsbad, CA 92011

Category Archive: ‘Zillow’

‘Coming Soon’ Update

Zillow started their ‘Coming Soon’ feature in the summer of 2014, so by now the gimmick is maturing.  Agents have worked every angle of it, and consumers have seen it all too.  Everybody comes to their own conclusions.

Here’s how one consumer described it to me yesterday:

Interesting tactic.  Post a ‘Coming Soon’ sign for two weeks and then drop it on to the MLS when it doesn’t sell.

Makes me immediately think the price is too high.  Couldn’t get it sold as a “Coming Soon”, so now trying the traditional way.

It looks over priced especially after the pictures.

The listing agent could have been playing it straight and was really holding back all buyers until the house was ready, but who would know?  The consumer’s conclusion is that it must be over-priced – is that in the seller’s best interest?

Consumers have never been so skeptical of agent tricks, and are jumping to their own conclusions.  Because agents don’t define their Coming Soon strategy, the rest of us just assume there is none, or the agent is just shopping for his own buyers before MLS input.

A tactic like this burns up any urgency there might be for the home – the necessary ingredient for it to sell for top dollar.  Buyers don’t feel the need to step up because the house isn’t on the open market.  Then once the listing is inputed onto the MLS, those who saw the failed Coming Soon campaign are rewarded for their patience – and will likely wait longer.

The ‘Coming Soon’ campaigns are good for one thing:

The listing agent occasionally pocketing both sides of the commission, while ignoring their fiduciary duty to their sellers.

Posted by on Mar 13, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Why You Should List With Jim, Zillow | 5 comments

Zillow Bending

This post was generally positive about Zillow’s future, but a commenter left this remark about Zillow puffing their counts:

Interesting that you repeatedly quote ‘according to management’ – did it cross your mind that Zillow management exaggerate performance with over stated Average Monthly Unique Users?, or how they use EBITDA instead of GAAP for earnings so that $114M of share based compensation is excluded?

The 152M ‘Average Unique Users’ in Q4 reported by Zillow is substantially overstated compared to 83.2M MUU’s reported by Comscore (  Even Zillow admits they duplicate MUU’s with the following statement buried in the SEC Form 10-Q Filing:

“Measuring unique users is important to us because our marketplace revenue depends in part on our ability to enable real estate, rental and mortgage professionals to connect with our users, and our display revenue depends in part on the number of impressions delivered to our users. Growth in consumer traffic to our mobile applications and websites increases the number of impressions and clicks we can monetize in our marketplace and display revenue categories. In addition, our community of users improves the quality of our living database of homes with their contributions, which in turn attracts more users.”

“We count a unique user the first time an individual accesses one of our mobile applications using a mobile device during a calendar month and the first time an individual accesses one of our websites using a web browser during a calendar month. If an individual accesses our mobile applications using different mobile devices within a given month, the first instance of access by each such mobile device is counted as a separate unique user.”

“If an individual accesses more than one of our mobile applications within a given month, the first access to each mobile application is counted as a separate unique user. If an individual accesses our websites using different web browsers within a given month, the first access by each such web browser is counted as a separate unique user. If an individual accesses more than one of our websites in a single month, the first access to each website is counted as a separate unique user since unique users are tracked separately for each domain. Zillow, StreetEasy, HotPads, Naked Apartments and (as of June 2017) measure unique users with Google Analytics, and Trulia measures unique users with Adobe Analytics (formerly called Omniture analytical tools)”.

Another interesting aspect of Zillow is how a handful of Investors control 60% of the shares and even when Executives dump huge amounts of shares the share price goes up. Are these investors acting in concert with the executives? so that there are buyers in the market knowing that executives are bailing out? Take a look at the major institutional investors and consider how easy a stock like Zillow can be manipulated by relatively small purchases in the market.

Finally, Zillow is a consistently Loss Making business with $443M in accumulated Losses in the 6 years since its IPO and losses of $149M in 2015, $107M in 2016 and $94M in 2017. Put that in context of Facebook making a massive investment in Real estate and Redfins growth substantially higher than Zillows and you have to question the long term viability of Zillow whose business model is to incrementally increase costs greater than the additional revenue generated.

Full Disclosure: I am a Zillow cynic who takes issue with Zillow imposing inaccurate Zestimates on millions of homes and refusing all reasonable requests to correct the erroneous valuation despite fundamental flaws in the proprietary Zestimate algorithm.

Link to Article

I also remain skeptical about anything Zillow says, or any other disrupter.

Posted by on Mar 12, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Zillow | 3 comments

Zillow 2018 Forecast

For those who are putting the finishing touches on their own 2018 forecast, here’s how close the Zillow Group guesses have been:

Local ZHVI-Appreciation Forecasts

2015 Forecast
2016 Forecast
2017 Forecast
2018 Forecast
Carmel Valley
Del Mar
La Jolla
San Diego
Solana Beach

Their guesses have been conservative, and for their 2018 forecasts, they pretty much just halved the appreciation gained in 2017.

The Zillow data changes slightly, depending on where you look on their website, and whether you use town names or zip codes. Here is the LINK to find others.

Posted by on Dec 27, 2017 in Forecasts, Market Conditions, North County Coastal, Zillow | 2 comments

Zestimate Cuts Loose

Dough sent in this change in his zestimate of his Carlsbad Aviara tract house – almost a quarter-million increase in the last 30 days!  The accuracy of the zestimates haven’t been getting any better, but think of the influence this could have on sellers and buyers!

The one-year forecast is exciting too:

Posted by on Nov 8, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Zillow | 3 comments

2017 Housing Survey

There’s a wealth of data on home buyers, sellers and renters in this year’s Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends – a self-administered study that gathered information between May 17 and June 5, 2017 from a total of 13,125 key household decision-makers.

Zillow’s 15 favorites:


  • Thirty-nine percent of Baby Boomer and 25 percent of Silent Generation homeowners* still live in the first home they bought. There are likely several million homes that will hit the market over the next two decades for the first time since the 1950s or 1960s. What state will they be in? This is potentially a pool of “affordable” entry-level homes.
  • Forty percent of U.S. homeowners share their home with a pet. The data on Americans and their pets is so sparse, it’s a socio-economic research black hole. It was great to finally put a number on the phenomenon. And the number is impressive: Four in 10 American homeowners have a pet (mostly dogs).
  • Fourteen percent of U.S. homeowners say their home needs serious updating; 61 percent say their home could use “a little updating.” This speaks to the enormous potential demand in the American economy for home improvement labor and materials, and to an often-overlooked cost (both financial and emotional) of homeownership.


  • When renters* decide to relocate, it’s often prefaced by an increase in rent. Seventy-nine percent of renters who moved from a previous rental experienced a rent increase before moving, with more than half (57 percent) indicating that their decision to move was directly influenced by that increase, including 26 percent who state they were greatly affected by a rent increase previously. Only 21 percent experienced no rent increase in their prior home before moving.
  • Today’s renters cast a wide net to find a new place, contacting a variety of property managers and landlords, all while hoping for a timely response back. On average, a renter contacts 4.5 landlords or property managers and submits 2.6 applications. Almost a third (32 percent) submit three or more applications, demonstrating that for renters in competitive and fast-moving markets, disappointment and competition are now an unfortunate part of the rental process.
  • African-American/black renters submit 3.1 and Hispanic/Latino renters submit 2.9 applications for a rental home, on average, compared with just 2.3 for Caucasian/white renters.
  • When renters move, most stay in the same city (53 percent), and 12 percent even stay in the same neighborhood. Only 30 percent move to a different city (but stay in the same state), and 15 percent move to a different state. When it comes down to it, moving can be a heavy lift, and many renters may end up becoming comfortable with their neighborhood and its offerings.


  • Nearly a third (29 percent) of buyers* go over budget. More than a third of Millennial buyers (37 percent) go over budget, compared with 27 percent of Generation X buyers, 19 percent of Baby Boomers and 25 percent of the Silent Generation. Perhaps due to their inexperience, first-time buyers (many of them Millennials) are more likely to exceed their budget (32 percent) than repeat buyers (27 percent). Blowing the budget could also be tied to the fact that more than half of homes available to buy are valued in the top one-third of all homes. More than 40 percent of home buyers are first-time buyers, compounding the intense competition for less expensive homes.
  • Fifty-seven percent of first-time buyers also considered renting, with Millennials most likely to consider that path (62 percent). Given the state of the market for first-time and younger buyers noted above, it’s no wonder. Owning a home can have a lot of financial advantages over the long haul compared to renting, but renting offers flexibility for many would-be buyers who are not quite ready to make a jump.


  • Millennials make up almost one-third (32 percent) of sellers*. For all the talk about Millennials having trouble saving down payments and getting into their first homes, a fair share of them have both done that and are turning around to sell.
  • While 36 percent of sellers attempt to sell their homes on their own, although only 11 percent actually do. Many sellers who attempt to or do sell their homes on their own believe it saves time (36 percent) and money (57 percent). Some feel they’re their own best agents because they know their homes better than any agent could (27 percent), or they’ve had negative experiences with an agent (14 percent). Almost a third of these sellers already have a potential buyer in mind (29 percent), eliminating the need for an agent’s help with marketing.
  • One in two sellers (50 percent) sell their home below its list price. Millennial (30 percent) and Generation X sellers (24 percent) are more likely to sell their homes above list price than older generations (11 percent of Baby Boomer and 19 percent of Silent Generation sellers). This trend is attributable in part to location: Younger sellers are more likely to be selling a home in an urban area, where homes sell above their listing prices 29 percent of the time (compared with 20 percent in the suburbs and 13 percent in rural areas).

Posted by on Sep 27, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, Zillow | 1 comment

New Portal Built by Realtors?

The guy who started the StopZillow campaign wants to build a new real estate portal which would be controlled by realtors – he discusses the details here:

An excerpt from the leadership team’s email announcing that the pre-launch of the crowdfunding campaign starts today:

We will use contributions from this crowdfunding campaign to build the best home search portal ever in real estate. This will be a website designed to sell our listings rather than using our listings to take advantage of us. Crowdfunding will also be used to create the national TV, print and Internet advertising we will need to market this website. 

Once the website is completed (projected January 2018) you as a campaign leader will have the first opportunity to demo it. You will also be given an insiders preview of the national TV commercials and blitz marketing campaign we develop to attract buyers to the website. After you have approved the website and marketing, it will then be made available to crowdfunding contributors, followed by other agents throughout the country

Then we will launch a $50,000,000 Regulation A+ securities offering to enable every licensed agent and broker the opportunity to become an owner. This $50,000,000 shouldn’t be difficult to raise… it’s an average of less than $50 per Realtor. I plan to buy at least $100,000 in stock myself. That money will be used for a national blitz marketing campaign to make every buyer aware of our website.

Once we have our buyers back, we will be able to retain our sellers and ensure our future. Recapturing control of our buyers and regaining control of our industry is the #1 goal of this project. Sellers need buyers. If we have the buyers, sellers will need us.

It seems far-fetched that he could get enough realtors on-board and get them to cough up money to build a new portal. But realtors need to do something to save our jobs, and having our own portal would solve everything.

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Revolution, Zillow | 3 comments

Economists: Appreciation to Continue

Home values continue to climb, passing $200,000 in June for the first time ever. A panel of more than 100 real estate economists and experts expect that trend will continue – while they say, on average, that there’s a 52 percent probability of the next recession starting by the end of 2019.

  • On average, real estate economists and experts say there’s a 52 percent probability of next recession starting by the end of 2019.
  • Most experts expect a geopolitical crisis will trigger the next recession, which a majority believe will have only a moderate impact on U.S. housing.
  • Home values will climb 5.08 percent by the end of 2017, the group said.

The probability jumps to 73 percent for a recession starting by the end of 2020, according to the Q3 2017 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey (ZHPE), a quarterly survey sponsored by Zillow and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC. The latest survey was conducted in late July and early August.

Most of the panel’s experts (67) think a geopolitical crisis is likely to be a major trigger for the next recession. That would be a rare occurrence. Although the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, prolonged a recession, most sustained downturns – including that one – have not started with a geopolitical crisis.

The panel ranked likely triggers as 1, 2 and 3 – and with that weighting, a geopolitical crisis also came out ahead, with a score of 138. It was higher than a score of 111 for monetary policy, 101 for a stock market correction and 55 for political gridlock as other possible recession triggers.

On average, the group expects the next recession to have only a moderate impact on U.S. housing. The group said San Francisco and Miami would be the most affected, followed by Los Angeles, New York, San Diego and Seattle.

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in Forecasts, Jim's Take on the Market, Zillow | 0 comments

Zillow vs. Redfin?

Spencer took a crack at Redfin yesterday, and more:


An excerpt:

Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff isn’t worried about the threat of newly-public Redfin — but he thinks the rest of the real estate industry should be.

He made that clear during a conference call associated with Zillow’s second-quarter earnings Tuesday in which he went so far as to say that Redfin is a “threat” to the traditional real estate industry.

“Undoubtedly, one of Redfin’s goals is to obviate the buyer’s agent,” Rascoff said on the call. “I think they have stated, quite publicly, that they aim to acquire more listings inventory in given markets, and then have no buyers’ agents on the other side of those listings. And that is a threat to organized real estate, and that’s one of the many reasons why brokerages are so concerned about Redfin.”

With N.A.R. on the sidelines, traditional realtors won’t mind somebody taking up the fight against Redfin – and Spencer could wind up being the hero!’

In this era of fake news, we can expect both sides to continue their bending of the facts too, which could get ugly.  Who will consumers believe?

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, The Future, Zillow | 0 comments

Zillow/Sandicor Breakdown 2

Zillow has uploaded my Caminito Vasto listing!  The MLS remarks didn’t pull through – but the photos did, go figure. They also called me a Premier Agent, and eliminated the three-headed monster.

We had two offers on Vasto, and I marked it pending on Monday, but they still show it as an active listing – but at least it’s on their website.

They are still having trouble with the listings that go pending, like the one below where they remove the list price and listing agent and just call it off-market, which isn’t accurate either for people who may have seen the for-sale sign or who are checking out the listing agents.  I added the first couple of sentences in the remarks to help:

When my Caminito Vasto seller saw her listing finally appear on Zillow today, she said, “I used to use Zillow all the time but I never realized how crappy and slow they were until now….”.

It doesn’t take much to lose your stature in the marketplace when there are plenty of similar alternatives available!

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Zillow | 0 comments