Why You Shouldn’t Search Homes on Zillow

It’s never been easier to search real estate listings. If you have a smartphone, you can view listings in your neighborhood or across the world in just a few seconds and keystrokes. Real estate is more accessible than ever before, but that accessibility isn’t always as cracked up as you’re led to believe. If you’re buying or selling real estate you’ve probably wondered if online real estate listings are worth it.

The top name in quick search internet based real estate results is undoubtedly Zillow. While Zillow does a lot of great things, it’s not always the top resource to use if you’re trying to find or sell a home in a hot market. When you’re ready to pull the trigger, you need the freshest results, something apps like Zillow can’t always provide.

Let’s learn why you shouldn’t search homes on Zillow as your primary resource and ways to make sure you’re getting the best and latest real estate listings. When you’re moving in a hot market, you need all the help you can get.

Why You Shouldn’t Search Homes on Zillow

The Big Disadvantage of Zillow

The big disadvantage of Zillow is its delay in posting new listings compared to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). While Zillow advertises fresh results and hot listings, what they don’t tell you is their listings come in much slower when compared to the MLS. This isn’t always terrible in a slow-moving market but in a market like Aurora or Castle Rock these delays can put potential buyers behind the rest of the pack.

Zillow vs. the MLS

You’ll see homes listed on both Zillow and the MLS, but the MLS offers many advantages over real estate apps. Let’s review the main advantages of the MLS over Zillow and other online real estate resources.

Fresh Results

Let’s imagine you’re trying to buy a property in Castle Rock but you’re having a hard time using Zillow for your home purchase. Every time you find a home you like, it’s already under contract. You’re browsing Zillow and Trulia constantly – what’s happening? You’re a victim of delayed listings.

When an owner decides to sell their home and gets their paperwork in order, the home is first listed on the MLS by a real estate agent. Getting a listing posted on the MLS is a real estate agent’s first priority to get it on the market and viewed right away. Once the agent posts the home, its information is instantly viewable by other real estate agents and homebuyers.

Zillow can take days or weeks to post a property while they hit up the lister for additional services and fees. Once you decide to list a home on the MLS it’s available to the right people right away but may take much longer on real estate apps like Zillow.

Hyper Local Resources

Zillow has field offices but they’re still a multinational real estate conglomerate and don’t give you the hyper local resources of a local real estate agency with access to local MLS listings. A realtor showing you homes in Castle Rock or Aurora can give you full access to the Denver MLS.

Property Information

Zillow can tell you a lot about a home but if you want all the information you can get, you want the MLS listing. Sure, sites like Zillow give you basic information like year built, school districts, and square feet, but the MLS tells you everything you need to know about a property to protect your purchase.

Zillow will give you anywhere from 40 to 60 fields of information about a home, but the MLS listing gives you over 200. You can go back decades and learn everything about a home with its MLS listing but only glean basic information with Zillow.

Potential Confusion

Potential buyers can get confused with Zillow real estate listings. When a homebuyer browses Zillow and comes across a home they like, they demonstrate their interest by clicking a link or signing up for alerts. They expect to hear back from the home’s real estate agent but are confused when instead they receive a call from a Zillow inside salesperson. That person who was interested in your home will likely hang up the call, and that will be the end of the pursuit for you.

Likewise, many homeowners are confused when they list a home on Zillow or other online real estate apps. Most list their homes and expect calls for showings but are surprised when the only calls they get are Zillow representatives who want a commission on the listing or try to upgrade you to more expensive services.

Actual calls from potential homeowners and real estate agents who want to view or ask more questions about the home? Little to none with Zillow. For real advertising and marketing, you need a real estate agent and the MLS.

Following Up with Real Estate Agent

When most homeowners find a home they like on Zillow, they move to more reputable sources like a real estate agency or the MLS. While Zillow offers a convenient way to quickly view several homes, in the end most homeowners are more comfortable with an actual real estate agent who will protect their interests during the home shopping process.

Why You Shouldn’t Search Homes on Zillow – Zillow vs MLS

Zillow is not all bad. Zillow’s basic services are free to anyone, but you need to be a licensed real estate agent to access the MLS. If you’ve hired a buying or listing agent, you’ll get their access to the MLS and its wealth of information.

Getting the Home Buying or Selling Process Started

Zillow is a great way to view homes for free, but quicker postings, more information, and other advantages in hot real estate markets like Aurora make the MLS and a real estate agent better than Zillow. If you’re serious about listing or buying a home it’s time to The Meissner Group.