Oh Zillow, you are the website I hate to love, and love to hate!
There are many good things about using a website like Zillow:
- It’s a pretty smooth website, fairly easy to navigate and there is a lot of good info to be found there.
- It is the one website I have found that gives you access to property taxes, past sold prices, school’s assigned to that address and more without having to jump back and forth between multiple websites or apps.
- Speaking of apps, they have an app for your phone, and it just works.
Then there are many bad things about using a website like Zillow:
- The info on houses in your market can be dated. I cannot tell you how many times I have had clients looking at a house on Zillow and by the time they reach out to a Real Estate Agent the house is under contract or already sold.
- Sometimes that amazing amount of info on their website is just plain wrong. People try and rely on Zillow’s estimated value of their home as the end-all, be-all. It’s not folks. Zillow just plain gets it wrong sometimes.
- Some houses/addresses just simply do not show up on Zillow, and then is when it makes your “one stop shop” no longer a one stop.
So where do we go from here?
Well like everything else in life, moderation is the key. Use Zillow as a jumping off point, but don’t stop there. I cannot express to you how important having a GOOD Real Estate Agent is! They can set you up on an email drip that will send you houses as they come on the market… and not houses that are already under contract or already sold (you don’t need to see those, what’s the point)! A GOOD Real Estate Agent can also help you price your home according to your specific market. When Zillow completely MISSES a home value, a good Real Estate Agent can help you understand why.
If you are a home buyer, you should have a good Real Estate Agent. They only get paid by the seller in the transaction, so their cost to you is nothing as a buyer, but their value to you is immeasurable.
If you are a home seller, yes there is the commission thing, I get it… but read the second part of the last sentence above, “their value to you is immeasurable”. A good Real Estate Agent will EARN their commission. You will be HAPPY to pay them their commission at the end of the day when your home sells faster and for more than you could have done it on your own!
If you need help getting in touch with a “GOOD” Real Estate Agent, please let me know. I work with several GREAT Real Estate Agents and I would be happy to personally introduce you to them and let them get to work helping you buy (or sell) your home!
Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer