ZipRealty, an online real estate broker site, http://ziprealty.typepad.com/marketconditions/2006/08/home_reviews_ar.html“target=”_blank”>announced the launch of its “Client Ratings” feature today. On each home listing, clients can view comments that have been posted about the home, as well as leave comments or ratings of their own.

Essentially, it’s the online version of visiting an open house with a friend and then sitting down over coffee to dish about the shag carpet in the den or the view from the back deck.

Jessica Sweeney from http://www.inman.com/blogger/bradinman.aspx“target=”_blank”>Inman News summarized some of the debate about user ratings for home listings sites:

Attendees at Inman News’ Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco last week discussed the idea of allowing user feedback on home listings, with some pointing out natural objections a seller might have about negative comments being made public. However, as others pointed out, those comments often make the feedback more believable. The future of the Web is turning more to consumer trust and showing feedback from others is a way to build that trust.

Clients rate the listing on a scale of one to five (instead of stars, little house icons indicate the rating) on categories like “curb appeal,” “interior appeal” and “neighborhood.”

In the interest of full disclosure, the site asks reviewers to reveal whether they’ve seen the home in person before they cast it aside with a dismal rating.

And if you use “inappropriate language and attitude,” your comment will likely be left off the site.

KELLY BENNETT

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