Sure, use Zillow and Trulia for fun, but call a Realtor® when it’s time to get serious

My clients, Nicole and Steve found their home on the MLS portal set up for them by their Realtor®, otherwise known as "me"!

My clients, Nicole and Steve found their home on the MLS portal set up for them by their Realtor®, otherwise known as “me”!

Are you old enough to remember avacado, orange and gold shag carpeting and formica counter tops being “up-dates” to a home? If you are than you probably remember real estate agents schlepping around a volume the size of two Manhattan phone books with weekly listing updates. THAT’S how they stayed on top of the market. My how things have changed.

It’s said somewhere in the range of 90 to 97 percent of all home searches begin on the internet. And why not? With sites like Trulia and Zillow, Redfin and ZipRealty, and Yahoo real estate, who needs a phone book when you’ve got a keyboard? Some might ask who needs a Realtor® when you’ve got Zillow? Here’s the difference you get with the home search data a Realtor® can provide.

The information you get from a Realtor® comes directly from the area Multiple Listing Service. It is up-dated with a frequency and within a body of regulations that make its accuracy far superior to that of the home search sites. An MLS connected site that you use through a real estate agent will not have homes listed as active,  that have been off the market for months. They will have up dates like price reductions, pending, or any other changes, in real time. And they will not give “Z(estimates)” that may be on point, or off by $100,000.00, completely ruining your day when the downpayment you thought you were going to have after your home sale based upon an estimate, turns out to be a figment of your Zimagination!

Paul Hagey writes that in a 2013 study, ZipRealty reported that more than 15 percent of homes shown for sale on Zillow and Trulia weren’t actually on the market, and up to 30 percent of homes that were listed for sale in an MLS were not identified by the home search sites as being on the market (Inman News, March 2013)

If you notice differences between the list of homes meeting your criteria that you find on Zillow, Trulia,or any of the other home search sites, and my MLS connected website or search portal, please understand that listings are not being forgotten or hidden, or held back. Those homes are likely no longer available for purchase. I’m not saying that those sites don’t offer value. I’m just saying your Realtor® can do it better.

And while I”m on the soapbox, can someone explain to me how those happy people in the Zillow commercials who walk into the home of their dreams and fall deeply in love with every inch of that house, got in without a Realtor® with a lockbox key?

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