Are You Using Zillow or Trulia?
If so, you may be making important financial decisions based on information that may be inaccurate. There are reasons why saying the words Zillow or Trulia is enough to make most Realtors cringe.
These websites, owned by the same parent company, are the largest in the online home-search business. They feature real estate listings and allow users to search for homes based on a number of different criteria. The allure of these websites is that they are free and provide a quick, easy way to search homes for sale. They also provide estimated home values.
3 Things to Consider When Using Zillow or Trulia
- Listings may be inaccurate or out of date. Studies have shown that Zillow and Trulia did not contain all homes for sale. So there is a chance you are missing out on a property that fits your criteria. There were also homes displayed as active but were actually under contract or no longer for sale.
- Home value estimates tend to be inaccurate due to data that may not reflect the physical location or overall market conditions. One reason for this is that the algorithms they use are not able to consider a home’s condition, views or upgrades. Another is that a home may be located on a noisy street, under a flight path or in an undesirable location.
- Proceed with caution when entering any personal information on their websites. Zillow and Trulia are self-proclaimed media companies that generate revenue by selling leads and advertising. The more traffic they have, the more money they can charge. Advertisers pay for leads generated in their local market through their online forms. If you do decide to fill anything out be prepared to get bombarded with emails, phone calls, and text messages.
The Best Way to Search for Homes in Your Area
Given the inaccuracy, inconsistencies, and issues with these online services, I recommend contacting a local real estate agent to get your questions answered when you are ready to buy a home.
These professionals can provide you with the most accurate list of homes for sale from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). MLS provides the most up-to-date information available. MLS also provides real-time alerts the moment a new property is listed for sale. And, most importantly, these professionals will represent you and your best interests.
If you don’t have a real estate agent yet and would like a recommendation, contact me, and I’ll be glad to give you the names of San Diego Realtors I work with and trust.