Pitfalls of using Zillow to Find a Home

    Since it became a household name in 2006 Zillow has been one of the biggest online resources that many people use to find information about Real Estate in and elsewhere across the United States but sadly what few people realize is that there are some major pitfalls to using Zillow to find a home including the following:

    #1 – Zillow’s Data Isn’t Always Accurate

    Although Zillow has become a widely used online platform over the years for searching for SoCal homes for sale and properties across the United States the reality is that their data isn’t always accurate.

    For example: During the recent collapse of the Real Estate market many homeowners and investors saw Zillow’s Zestimate’s for their homes and properties increasing when they should have been decreasing with the rest of the market. They also don’t draw all of the homes listed for sale on the site from the MLS, so homes have often been sold that are still listed, leading consumers to get their hopes up which doesn’t benefit anyone.

    #2 – Zillow Makes Money from the Real Estate IndustryZillow

    Yes, it’s true that Zillow does make money from the Real Estate industry and up to 74% of their revenue comes from fees that agents and mortgage lenders pay for leads so Zillow can’t claim to offer objective independent data when so many interests are involved in their financial success. So the agents you see listed on the site are not necessarily the best, just the ones who paid to be there.

    #3 – Zillow Is Slow To Add New Listings

    Sadly, many reports have shown that Zillow is often slow to add new listings to their website and it can sometimes take up to 9 days for a home to be listed when a new Real Estate listing will be on the Multiple Listing Service in as little as 15 minutes.

    For the home buyer in Southern California who relies solely on Zillow for their Real Estate information, nine days can be like waiting 3 months because by the time they will become aware of a property in their target area on Zillow that property will most likely have received several offers already.

    Zillow should only be the starting point for any buyer or seller especially since a Realtor® should be used for “deciphering” your homes value or what a home is actually worth since they have access to all sold homes and other data from the MLS. Even sold homes can be delayed by a month or more meaning that you could be over paying for your home in a slow market, or underbidding for that new home in a hot market if you were solely relying on the information from Zillow.

    Learn More about Zillow

    To learn more about Zillow and the pitfalls of their information, or to view homes for sale in Southern California contact Fred Sed Realty today by calling us at (800) 921-9231 or click here to connect with us online.

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    Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the local area.