Zillow is the #1 home search site used to buy or sell a home. To most, it’s the “end all be all”. However, research has shown that it’s not the best resource for buyers and sellers and here’s why:
Inaccuracy– The information used is from public records, meaning it’s not up to date. You may have updated or neighbors may have updated their home, so you can’t compare your home to others accurately. These sits may also have a hard time accurately estimating the true value of upgrades and improvements. They may over or underestimate the value, which impacts the overall estimated value of the home altogether. According to Zillow, their estimates are only accurate within 20% of the final sales price.
Comparables are not Comparables– Real estate market websites are computer-based programs. They only do what they are told to do given the information that’s inputted. They only comp the area within a specific radius of the home for sale and use the homes around that home as comparable, but sometimes those homes aren’t comparables. They may be a larger home, include a garage, etc.
Sub-markets aren’t included– Real estate market websites give you a general market, but not specific market values of a particular area. For example, one street may have much higher price values than other streets next to it, but the websites don’t have the proper algorithms to allow separation.
Not Updated– Have you ever been on Zillow and inquired about a house that wasn’t on the market? Yes, this happens, ALL THE TIME. It takes a while for these sites to update with the most current homes on the MLS.
Keep it local– These sites are national sites. They aren’t actual people. Local real estate agents are constantly ‘in the know’ about local neighborhoods and what homes are going for- not only through market value reports, but by talking to people! They know when homes may be in preparation for the market before they hit the market, these websites don’t. Real Estate agent sites are also more accurate and update rather quickly when the MLS updates. These sites also need to get money, they are businesses right? They end up selling ads to real estate agents to generate revenue. So, many websites will structure your home search based on who is paying them vs who isn’t. These sites usually exist to extract your information and create inaccurate leads for realtors. Many times, you are not directed to the realtor who knows most about the home you’re interested in. In most cases, you’re information is given to numerous realtors who end up calling you and make you exhausted.