If you think Zillow is a real estate resource, well you would be right. It is not however part of our MLS. Zillow is a publicly traded advertising company. You’ll find it on Nasdaq under Z. (I may use this term as I write this post).
Here’s some more information you may like to know.
- It is not the MLS.
- It does not get listings for it’s site direct from our MLS.
- Your home does not have to advertised on Zillow.
- MLS listed homes advertised on Zillow get there via different methods. Syndication using third party sites is one, direct entry by Realtors is another.
- Zillow has For Sale by Owner homes for sale, entered by owners.
As home sellers your question might be whether or not it’s beneficial to have your home advertised on Zillow.
The answer is not as clear as you might think.
- Yes it will be seen by hundreds of home buyers in their research.
- Will it guarantee your home will be sold. NO.
- Will a zestimate appear next to your home for sale. YES
- Will it matter if your home is not advertised on Zillow? Each of you must decide.
Perhaps you should look at that Zestimate before deciding if you want your home listed for sale there.
Most buyers here in our area will engage the services of a Realtor when they are ready to buy. That’s something they cannot do with Zillow, because Zillow is an advertising company, they do not have licensed Agents, Brokers or Realtors.
A buyer and a Realtor together will use the MLS. We can email listings to our buyer clients that match their wish list. We will show any home our qualified buyers want to see. Buyers get all the available homes for sale, not the limited 60% or so on the advertising site. So even if your home is not for sale on Zillow, the buyers will get to see them and decide if they want to look.
What about Zestimates?
Home sellers may look at their home on Zillow to get an idea of their homes value. Confusion, disappointment and anger may follow.
- The home values on Zillow are not provided by Realtors.
- Home values on Z are calculated using an Algorithym.
- I don’t know what’s in that Algorithym.
- I have no ability to change a Zestimate.
Think about it this way. Z is one very large website of properties. Literally millions of them.There really would be no way they could accurately calculate home values individually, so they use a computer.
Realtors and Z
As Realtors we have been somewhat co-erced to use Zillow, especially for home sellers. You all expect your home to be there, so we oblige. I manually enter your listing so when it appears in the results there is a little tag by my name saying listing agent. At least buyers calling from the site now know the best Realtor to connect with. All the other agents next to your home are paying to be there. It’s the way Zillow can connect it’s viewers with agents.
When your property is sold I can mark it as such and take away my photos. That said the web site is full of really old data because many Realtors never go and remove their input. That’s not Zillows fault, it’s the lazy agents fault. That does not happen on the MLS, we are required to maintain an accurate database by reporting our sales.
It’s up to home sellers to decide if they wish to participate in Zillow advertising. This post is merely to help you all understand that it is not a website that is born of listing a home with a Realtor and that you do have choices. There’s a place in the real estate market for all types of media but:
- If you need to buy a property, call a Realtor.
- If you want an accurate valuation of your property for sales purposes, call a Realtor.
- If you would like a list of available homes that match your wish list, call a Realtor.
- If you don’t like what you see on Zillow, don’t call a Realtor. (Unless we put it there!)
Is Trulia any different? Well that’s another post for another day but consider this. Zillow is buying Trulia. Will they ever become able to provide licensed agents for you, maybe! All I can say is selecting your local Realtor is the best choice, we know the market, we know the community.
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