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Rely on Your Realtor

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff

Zillow is a handy tool when you’re getting started with a home search, but it’s important to also understand its limitations.   

When evaluating the results of a Zillow search, be aware the service does not generate its own data, but rather aggregates data from multiple sources.  By their own admission, Zillow knows the information can be inaccurate or out of date (pricing, home size, features, etc.)

An important source of revenue for Zillow is advertising sales. As a result, the “recommended agent” displayed next to the syndicated listing often has no relationship to the property, and the agent may have little or no knowledge of the neighborhood. This can cause confusion with the public, so some local real estate boards are taking steps to fix this by either refusing to deliver local market listings to the syndicator or by including remarks for Zillow to display provides information about the listing agent.

This can cause confusion with the public, so some local real estate boards are taking steps to fix this by either refusing to deliver local market listings to the syndicator or by including remarks about the listing and listing agent Zillow must display to continue to receive local MLS data. 

When you’ve narrowed down your options, your best resource for accurate, timely, and comprehensive information is to check in with your local real estate broker. Local brokers and agents have access to professional MLS data feeds and their website will have an easy way for you to search current MLS listings.  Brokers must  comply with MLS listing rules, or lose their MLS service, while services like Zillow are not bound by these rules. 

Finally, nothing is more important to a broker than maintaining their personal reputation, and being a reliable source of information to their clients.  So, when you’re ready to buy or sell, rely on your local broker.