Don’t let this happen to you!
The ad was captivating. It grabbed your attention and pulled you in, but don’t fall for it.
There are several reasons people go to Zillow, but here is proof that you shouldn’t make any important decisions based on what you find there.
- Buyers are looking for homes
- Sellers are confirming the value for a list price
- Buyers are confirming the value before making an offer
- Folks are “checking out” a potential real estate agent
- Pictures, maps, neighborhood info
The dirty low down:
Number 5 is easy: Zillow harvests photos and data from numerous sources and provides it for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy it. Even if the photos are not current, you aren’t going to make too big of a mistake just from looking at them.
Number 1 is also easy: Not everything you see on Zillow is actually available for sale. There are dozens of reasons why properties are shown when they aren’t for sale. This company exists solely to lure viewers and collect information to sell to real estate agents. The data doesn’t have to be accurate; it just has to be attractive.
Numbers 2 and 3 can be lumped together. Value. Zestimate. Automated Valuation. Pricing. Whatever you want to call it, you can’t trust it. It is wrong. My blog Your Home Valuation is Wrong from July 30, 2018 goes into more detail. https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/your-home-valuation-is-wrong/
Number 4 can be a real problem. It’s a problem for the buyers and sellers, and also for the real estate agents. I sell two or three times as much real estate as the average agent, but you can’t tell that from looking at Zillow. They say that I have not sold anything in the last 17 months. https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/really-zillow-again/
Yes, I can go in and manually update it, but that doesn’t mean it will be accurate next week. Here today, gone tomorrow is reality with these guys.
They were happy to use my photos, my descriptions and marketing remarks on my listings they used as “bait” to attract potential buyer and seller leads, but when those homes sold, Zillow conveniently “forgot” to credit me with the sale.
Blog post January 16, 2015 titled Real Estate Misinformation and Extortion tells how after 20 years in real estate, Zillow showed me completing 2 (two) total transactions. Two. After I had been a full time licensed real estate professional for twenty years! I had owned a real estate company part of that time. I had obtained my ABR, CRS, GRI, CDPE, e-PRO and ILHM designations – many of which require a certain level of production to qualify. But the big gorilla of real estate information credited me with two sales!
You can’t make this stuff up!
My blog post Boom! Yes That Was My Head Exploding! from August 6, 2015 tells when I found out Trulia and Zillow wiped my slate, again. After over 20 years as a full-time licensed real estate professional, part of which I was broker/owner of a real estate company, Trulia credited me with 1 (one) total career sale and Zillow showed me having 2 (two) sales in my entire career!
You don’t have to make things up, they prove every day that danger lurks if you blindly follow.
The thing to remember is that Zillow exists purely to make money from real estate brokers. If they have decent information on the website, great. If not, it doesn’t matter as long as they can lure people there, collect the contact info, and sell them to an agent.
There are thousands of companies that do the same thing: provide real estate information for the sole purpose of collecting leads to sell to real estate agents. Zillow just happens to be the biggest, and therefore can do the most damage.
Zillow has some great ads: A wonderful mix of emotional heart-tugs and perceived factual data.
Too bad people make important life decisions based on the fake news and false information.
All the Best!
Jim Sweat, ABR, CLHMS, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM
Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming soon)
Jim Sweat – Helping Buyers & Sellers Choose Wisely Since 1995 ™
Re/Max Alliance Group
1314 E. Venice Ave, Venice, FL 34285
http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat (Home Search)
A Proven Professional Working for You!
23 Years Experience