How Reliable Are Sites Like Trulia and Zillow?

Bayfield Market Trends

Nationwide real estate sites have become increasingly common in recent years. Many buyers and sellers flock to these generic sites to search for property or get an estimate on how much their house is worth. While these sites can be helpful for obtaining more info, seeing what is available on the market, and increasing your general real estate knowledge, they also have big drawbacks. As you know, accuracy and timeliness are crucial factors when it comes to successful real estate transactions. Unfortunately, behemoth sites such as Zillow and Trulia have some significant flaws to be aware of.  Here are some of the top reasons to be cautious of these websites.

  1. Deceptive Advertising 
  2. One of the most common complaints regarding these websites is the misleading advertising methods they utilize. Zillow allows real estate agents to purchase advertisements that appear next to listings that are NOT their own. Essentially, this system allows the “top bidder” to appear next to other agent’s listings and receive leads regardless of their actual knowledge, dedication, or experience. Since buyers assume the agent’s picture next to a listing is the listing agent, they end up accidentally contacting a less experienced agent. This can be confusing for buyers and extremely frustrating for hard-working real estate agents that end up losing business.  It can also feel unethical to both buyers and agents.

  3. Lack of Relationship
  4. One of the most important steps a buyer or seller can take is establishing a relationship with a trusted Realtor. Experienced agents are trained to know and understand the specific wants and needs of buyers and sellers. This face to face interaction is far more productive than working with an impersonal, data crunching website. An agent will follow up regularly with detailed, site specific, professional information. Collaborating with a skillful, seasoned agent can lead to a less frustrating, smoother buying or selling process.

  5. Incorrect Data
  6. A portion of active listings never even show up on Zillow and Trulia, while other listings still appear even if they are no longer on the market. This means you may be missing out on potential properties or getting excited about a property with incorrect information. Working with a real estate agent ensures you will receive complete, accurate information and stay up to date on the market.

  7. Wondering What Your House Is Worth? Zillow Is the Wrong Place to Check
  8. Pricing tools, such as the popular Zillow Zestimate, may sound great, but they are proven to be extremely inaccurate.  A national database compiled by a computer simply cannot judge the true worth of a property. A real estate agent can help you by explaining the local market, discussing the numerous factors that affect the value of a property, and going over actual comparable sales.

Final Thoughts

For buyers and sellers in search of timely, accurate data, national real estate sites are incapable of replacing the knowledge of an experienced Realtor. Consider searching local real estate on our website and establishing a relationship a Realtor here. This will help ensure that you are receiving accurate, up-to-date information.