Zillow has applied and been accepted as a member of the NWMLS.
They are a licensed real estate brokerage in the state of Washington. They fit the DOL requirements for a brokerage, so NWMLS has no ability or right to bar a licensed Broker from joining NWMLS because they have a unique business model.
At this point NWMLS has no intention of singling Zillow or any other member out as unacceptable. They have said that should there be violations of NWMLS Rules, they will handle the circumstance just as they do all of their member violations.
As has been spectulated on Rain City Guide and in Dave Chase’s Market Velocity blog, there has been some question as to whether or not Zillow could make it on advertising alone. As Dave points out, finding out what your house is worth isnâ€™t a sticky feature, it’s not enough to get people to come back time-after-time. But listings just might be. Especially if clicking on those listings brings you in contact with an agent who is either paying Zillow for the right to advertise on the site or paying Zillow a percentage of the commission.
UPDATE: Zillow’s Broker is Bob McNamee, and there are 2 other agents listed, Macy Cross and Jennifer Wilson, neither of whom show any sales or listings, so they must be newly licensed.
I wonder what happened to Gorden Stephenson, managing Broker of Real Property Associates and a member of Zillow’s board. I thought if Zillow was going to go move ahead into referrals, they were going to partner up with them. It looks like they’re heading out on their own, instead.