Update: Can You Trust Zillow & Trulia?

can you trust zillow and trulia

Back in 2014, Zillow and Trulia were the 2 sites that people were talking about online when it came time to buy a home. They had an easy search tool to not only see homes for sale in a specific area but also homes that were not for sale. Zillow has the “Zestimate” tool available for homeowners to estimate how much their home is worth based on recent sales in the area you are searching in. We will talk more about that later. We even wrote a blog post about it here. This seems like the perfect time for an update to let you know the state of Zillow and Trulia now.

Should I search on Zillow or Trulia for a new home?

If you’ve ever used these websites to find your newly listed home you may have been surprised when it came up in the wrong neighborhood or may have shown the wrong school information. Why would this happen? It’s helpful to know how these listings are shown by going behind the scenes. Websites like Zillow and Trulia are known as real estate syndicators. The information is pulled from a local Multiple Listing Service or MLS. The MLS is accessed by realtors and contains all the necessary data for any given listing. The MLS is the most trusted source for real estate listings. Agents must subscribe to the service for a fee but it is worth it for the accurate content available.

If 3rd party sites pull information from the MLS, then why is some of their information incorrect?

Unfortunately, sites like Zillow and Trulia are not only using information from the local MLS, but also from other sources. Sometimes the information from the MLS can also be twisted and misrepresented. They often use information pulled from 3rd party sites, meaning they can host information that has been posted by anyone, regardless of the content. The information can be misleading with little accountability.

But, what about the “Zestimate” tool?

Many people will search for their home on Zillow to try to price their home before they are ready to sell by using the Zestimate tool. We always suggest calling a RealtorĀ® to do this for you, as they will have accurate data available to use from the MLS to compare your home with other homes that have recently sold in your area. Zillow’s reported numbers show that 13% of home “Zestimates” are not accurate within 5% of the sale price.

The best places to search online for a new home.

Feeling overwhelmed with where to start your home search or how to sell your home? Zillow and Trulia are still extremely popular among home-seekers {and sellers} but if you are looking for a more reliable alternative, use the search engine on your local real estate broker’s website. Most of all, never hesitate to reach out to your local real estate agent with any questions you may have.

Do you have real estate questions?

Dickens Mitchener is your trusted source for residential real estate in the Charlotte area and beyond. Our affiliations with Leading RE and Luxury Portfolio can put you in touch with other professionals around the world. Contact Catharine Pappas at 704.661.2402 or your trusted neighborhood expert today to get started.