Buying a home can be one of the biggest decisions that you will make in your life. It not only takes commitment but also requires financial stability and extensive research. Although there are several free resources available online, homebuyers should be aware that the information they find may not always be accurate.
Popular real estate databases, like Zillow and Trulia (recently acquired by Zillow), were created to make the market more efficient for buyers and sellers by cutting out the middlemen, yet prospective homebuyers should be aware that not all of the information given on these websites are correct.
Here are 4 reasons you should stop using Zillow and hire a real estate agent:
1. Zillow has inaccurate information
Although Zillow may be able to provide great content and useful information, you can not conclude that their information is always accurate. According to Redfin, an online real estate database, the accuracy of more than 35 percent of the “For Sale” listings provided by Zillow were actually no longer listed on local multiple listing service (MLS) databases. The study also revealed that Zillow was missing a considerable amount of local listings. Having a real estate agent by your side can help guarantee accurate information and allows you relax, knowing you’re in good hands.
2. Zillow is slow to show new listings
One of the best things about hiring a real estate agent is that they have faster access to new listings as they become available compared to online real estate websites. This is vital when looking for a new home because new properties are listed on the market in as little as every 15 minutes. As for Zillow, you can anticipate about seven to nine days for a new listing to show up. If you’re only relying on Zillow then by the time you are ready to submit an offer, there could have been a dozen competitive offers before yours. This can hinder your chances of getting a great deal. Even worse, the property could be sold by the time you have placed your bid.
3. Zillow lacks real customer support
The only customer support offered by Zillow is a contact form, which can take weeks to get a response from. A good real estate agent will respond immediately after you show interest. Whether you are calling or emailing, it is the real estate agent’s job to respond to you as quick as possible.
4. Zillow doesn’t offer an accurate appraisal
Looking to get your house appraised? Zillow offers an application that can provide you with an estimated market value of a home. Unfortunately, the “Zestimate” tool is just that—an estimate. It estimate is based on the square footage of the home, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the neighborhood that the home is located in, but what about those home improvements or renovations the home owner has added? For the Zestimate tool to take those extras features into account, you have to manually input the information, which can be time consuming.
A real estate agent can be more helpful because they can refer you to a reputable appraiser that can come to your house and give you an accurate assessment having seen your entire home. Feel free to share all your home renovations and upgrades with your appraiser—maybe even give them a “bragging sheet.” Working with the real estate agent will make sure your home is listed at the most accurate price that alleges with the true value of your home.
Although Zillow was created to be a valuable resource for homebuyers and sellers, the truth of the matter is that you can save a lot of time and stress by putting your trust into a real estate agent.
The main goal of the real estate agent is to find your dream home at a reasonable and fair price. Whether they have exclusive insight on a foreclosed home or refer you to a broker, the benefits and abilities of a knowledgeable agent outweighs anything Zillow could offer.
Statistics source: https://www.redfin.com/about/data-quality-study