Buying and selling a home is one of the biggest financial transactions most people will ever make. So, it’s no surprise that buyers and sellers turn to the Internet to research and gain as much knowledge as possible about their local real estate market.
Unfortunately, it seems like not all online real estate websites and resources are equal. If you are in the market to buy or sell residential real estate, it pays to know the facts about Zillow & Trulia, and other online real estate search aggregates.
Local Houston Realtors as well as most real estate agents across the country are starting to voice their concerns. There is a lot of misinformation posted on popular real estate websites, which is nothing new. In fact, the issues are so significant that many real estate agencies will remove their listings from these sites. Most of all, they even refuse to provide any data through these third-party syndicate property directories.
Here are a few things you should know about online property search portals:
- Old Listings. It takes about 9 to 15 days before new listings show up as available, and even longer for them to remove when they are no longer available. This means buyers and sellers are not getting a clear picture when it comes to available inventory. According to a recent Redfin study, due to inaccuracies, only about 1/3 of available listings on Zillow and Trulia are actually for sale.
- Inaccurate Property Values. So many real estate decisions are being made on property values alone. Therefore, this makes value estimates the biggest issue with real estate search portals. Mathematical algorithms, much as other factors they use to determine property values are inaccurate. They primarily use public record data, and this data often dates back five years. As we know, the local real estate market can change dramatically from week to week due to the ever changing market. In addition, it’s impossible for these algorithms to consider property enhancements as well as other concerns better found through a physical inspection or appraisal.
- Misleading Advertisements. Like most third-party aggregate websites, Zillow, Tulia, and other real estate search portals are in the advertising business. While they may aim to serve as a property search resource, their business goal is to provide leads to paid subscribers. This is important information for both buyers and sellers. Online listing ads that appear alongside available properties can be a misleading distraction for potential buyers.
Beware of Zillow & Trulia Listing Inaccuracies
It’s true, it seems like these real estate listing sites provide the ability to cross-reference listings via multiple websites. However, they are most often unregulated, unedited, and severely inaccurate. Most of all, this makes them misleading.
In conclusion, it is smart to do your homework prior to any major financial transaction. Because of this, we are taking steps to endorse the Houston Realtors new mobile app. Get a custom app to support your unique property search needs. Simply share a bit about you and your property search.