Opinion

Google Embraces Inaccuracy by Choosing Zillow

Wrong WayA disappointing day to hear that Google, the world's leading search engine has decided to use Zillow, one of the world's most innacurate real estate listing sites, to power its real estate search on Android mobile devices. For a company that prides itself on presenting the best and most accurate data to consumers, they've made a terrible mistake. Studies have shown that the accuracy of the information on Zillow to be genuinely inferior to that of websites powered by local MLS systems like Realtor.com and local real estate websites. Take a look at this study by WAV Group that shows just how innacurate the data on Zillow is compared to 3 real estate brokerage website. The listing data on my website right here is a far more accurate way to search for Atlanta homes for sale. We pull directly from the MLS everyday which means we have the listings first and when they sell we remove them first. Just take a look at the study above and you will see for yourself.

The technology for this new partnership isn't great, or even new. I have had it on my Atlanta Real Estate app in the iTunes App store for a year myself and I'm just one team in one market. I certainly don't have the vast resources of Zillow or Google to creat a substantive tool like they should be able to do. It simply uses your location, shows you the listings around you and provides the usual data you see on Zillow. Mine does the same thing except it doesn't have all of the inaccurate information found on Zillow. I suppose the difference is that Google is allowing Zillow to usurp it's...

Who Pays for Poorly Underwritten Loans?

Bank of America has filed suit against MGIC, one of the nations largest mortgage insurance companies. MGIC has rescinded many of its obligations to pay saying that they aren't contractually obligated to pay for loans that weren't properly underwritten. According to a Bizjournal story, MGIC cut 1.2 billion dollars in payments and Bank of America has filed a lawsuit as well as discontinued using MGIC for its mortgage insurance. Bank of America has also discontinued using MGIC to insure loans.

If you have a loan with less than 20% down, you or your lender has paid for mortgage insurance on your loan. If the loan goes bad, the mortgage insurance company is supposed to pay up. However, with so many bad loans, mortgage insurers are pointing the finger back at the bank in many cases saying that the loans were not underwritten properly. In these cases, the insurance companies won't pay out and in my opinion, shouldn't.

What was missing during the housing boom was accountability. I don't see a problem making sure that the right entity pays for loans going bad unless its another taxpayer bailout.

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