Zillow and Trulia actually have a secret they have kept to themselves that most home buyers and sellers are not aware of. They actually did not create the sites to sell homes! The entire goal of the sites that they have created is to sell advertising to real estate agents based on how many visitors they can get to visit the website. The huge disadvantage that the general home buyer that uses the site will find is the bad information and out of date listings that the sites provide. Zillow and Trulia do not care that their data is inaccurate, they actually even state on the website Zillow that their "Zestimates" are just a range of values on a formula that they've created. The most shocking information that has recently been discovered is that Zillow and Trulia actually only have about 70% of the actual active listings on their websites when compared to local MLS data.
Zillow and Trulia do a great job of marketing to get the general public to visit their sites. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't realize that neither company is actually a licensed real estate broker in any state.
Consider these important facts if you are thinking about using Zillow or Trulia:
- Not even a single city or local minicipality uses Zillow information or data for property tax assessments. It is often said that the "Zestimates" are completely inaccurate!
- Did you know that Zillow does not even have one single employee that is a licensed broker or real estate agent in any local market?
- The values that Zillow provides on their website are based on their own algorithm that uses public tax information. This is a major problem, since tax values have absolutely nothing to do with a homes true value.
- Most local real estate agents will list a home fresh on the MLS and might not even ever list the home on Zillow or Trulia before is sells. This has been happening extremely often since the best deals and quality homes are selling very quickly in this market. This is also another great reason to have a Realtor searching the freshest listings in the MLS for the home you are searching for. I often explain to my clients how I dedicate time each and every day doing deep dive searches on the MLS to find the homes that are just hitting the market, a huge advantage over most real estate agents!
So here is a big kicker..... How can Zillow show homes for sale that are not really for sale?
Unfortunately, this practice that they use is legal because they are not an actual licensed real estate agent or real estate broker. They actually do not even have access to the latest MLS data and are not pushing for accuracy at all. Remember what I told you before, their entire goal is to get traffic to their website to help sell advertising, and its not just to real estate agents either. Have you noticed all of the Google Adwords on the Zillow search pages?
Brokers across the United States are actually working on fighting back and now are pulling their listings from Zillow all together! Read this news article from January 2014 on how one of the largest brokerage firms in the United State pulled ALL of their listings from Zillow! Click on the link below to read the article in the news.
My Closing Statement about Zillow and Trulia
I have provided this information to my clients for a few simple reasons. The first reason that I want to get this information out to my customers is to be sure they are getting the best price on the home of their dreams. If they are only looking at non-current information, they could be missing great deals on houses that are selling everyday, and they did not even know they were ever for sale. Another great reason is to be sure they are not making a poor decision in listing their home for sale buy owner, priced using "Zestimates." This could really taint their house if it is priced incorrectly and they could miss perfect opportunities from buyers that would have been interested in buying their home. the situation could actually be even worse, they could under price their home and potentially lose thousands of dollars by not understanding the true local market.
I want to make your experience simple. I want to make it 100% accurate and honest. I want to work hard for you and get you the best price whether you are buying or selling a home. Call me today and put me to work for you. You will not be disappointed!