Why you should avoid Zillow at all costs
With how technology is today anybody can post information online and just because something’s popular does not mean it is accurate. Websites such as Zillow is designed with the sole purpose of creating (weak) leads for Realtors and revenue for websites. This is also the type of website where buyers begin their home search and where sellers look to find the value of their current home. This creates a variety of problems due to the false advertising and inaccurate data. Of all the online real estate databases, Zillow may be the worst one. Despite the false advertising, Zillow is the most commonly used site. Realtors pay to have listings on real estate sites and get leads to gain clients. However, when listings get false advertisement, it makes the job for realtors harder. People do not know exactly how Zillow works when it comes to getting leads to help people find or sell a home. When someone shows interest in a property and register Zillow sends the agent their contact information. You would think this would be done responsibly by the website, because most realtors only want to be able to help people find the home best for them, but Zillow tends to send leads to numerous realtors. The realtor that receives the lead will most likely contact this person to see if they can help in any way. The problem with this is that Zillow has now given the same contact information to multiple realtors, which leads to the potential clients getting annoyed from numerous calls from many realtors. Those registering with Zillow probably also don’t know they will be sending contact information to multiple relators instead of just one. Zillow creates a lose-lose situation. The potential buyer gets frustrated and is overwhelming, especially when someone is just browsing through photos.
- Many of the homes listed on Zillow may not be for sale. There have been times when a client inquires about a home seen on Zillow, showing the house is still on the market and a length of time it has been available. However, the house has already been sold and Zillow just keeps it on. Another way Zillow can provide inaccurate information is through the agent listed with the property. It is usually attached to a paying Realtor client of Zillow. It’s misleading advertising and taking advantage of people. Instead of trusting massive online real estate databases, a simple media post asking for local Realtor will get better results.
- For sellers: Zestimates are Zillow’s algorithm-produced appraisals. These are rarely correct though. According to economist John Wake, the typical Zillow Zestimate error is $14,000 and you don’t have a way of knowing if that is too high or too low. Half the time Zillow’s Zestimates are incorrect by a lot more than $14,000. They do not have inspectors checking out each property to make sure the data is accurate and this is the only way to determine a property’s worth.
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