There is a new battle on the horizon regarding the best website to use for your real estate search. Most real estate websites rely on word of mouth to let the public know about what they have to offer. However, a new tact is now being used – television advertising. This is bound to be an epic battle, since the more accurate site is not the first site that the public thinks of. I would like to point out some differences of which the public should be aware.
As a listing Realtor, I enter the information for my listing into my local multiple listing service, commonly known as MLS. From there, the information is picked up by a plethora of other sites such as Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and other real estate brokerage sites.
The initial entry is usually not an issue – they all have the same information. This is not true once information such as list price, status and details of the listing are changed. Sites such as Trulia and Zillow rely on the listing agent to keep these sites updated. The more directly provided information of the local MLS and Realtor.com are updated as the listing information changes.
Recently, Zillow has started advertising their site as the premier site for a home search or to list a home for sale. However, nowhere in that advertising does it address exactly how those happy buyers got into the home to view it. They don’t mention the consistent inaccuracies of their site. It doesn’t talk about how often Zillow’s “Zestimate” is simply wrong. If you refer to the bottom of the “Zestimate”, it will tell you how accurate it is. In my neighborhood, it is within $25,00o of the selling price 5% of the time.
So, while it is the public’s choice as to where they choose to get their information, it is my personal hope that the public does it’s homework and realizes the value of the accuracy of that information and the Realtor who is providing it. I would strongly suggest the more direct sites such as the local MLS, Realtor.com and the sites of Realtor brokerages.