The Dangers of Zillow and Trulia

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This week's blog is all about popular websites that are available to the public for use to begin their home search, and why they aren't necessarily a one-stop shop for all your real estate needs. If you haven't been following real estate news recently, the big story is that popular home search website Zillow has purchased its biggest competitor, Trulia, for a sum of $3.5 billion.
Here is a Bloomberg article on the acquisition that explains all the details of the merger if you are interested. 

Since the acquisition, many people are now worried that the merger of these two sites will change the real estate business, and negatively affect real estate brokers. Here's an article that touches on the subject.

We now have 2 large sites coming together to give data to the public. It sounds great on paper, but the problem with the data that these sites are providing is that it's not always very accurate. These sites aren't synced with the local MLS, like ours is, so we are seeing a lot of inaccuracies in their information. To get a truly accurate value, you need somebody who personally knows your local market to give you a valuation. You can't rely on a website to do the same thing a real person can.

When clients of ours search for homes on these sites instead of on sites that are fed directly from the local MLS like our own, we run into problems. We have had clients send us listings they are interested in from Zillow or Trulia, only to find out that these homes have already gone under contract or sold. You need to be careful on these sites, because they really do have a lag in time and you could be falling in love with a house that has long since been gone.

Another problem with these sites stems from home valuations. People want to know the value of their specific home, but all these sites do is use an algorithm to determine the approximate value of your home. There are a lot of things they don't take into account that figures into your home's value. Their inaccuracies in estimations will come back to haunt you, and you won't get nearly as much money for your home as you could if you hired an agent to value your home.

The first step to take to avoid these mistakes is searching on a website that has a real MLS base to it like our own. We would also encourage you to talk to an agent to get a true and accurate valuation for your home. If you have any questions at all or know somebody who is looking to buy or sell a home in Louisville, please don't keep us a secret. We are here to help and would love to assist you with any and all of your real estate needs.