When shopping for a house online there are many websites to choose from. One could go to websites like Yahoo.com or Aol.com, one could search for a home from their news website of choice, or one could go to their real estate agency’s website or their agent’s website. Among the most popular websites to shop for a home are Realtor.com, Trulia.com, and Zillow.com. While I personally prefer that Pioneer Valley home shoppers utilize the search tool on my website or ask to send them the homes that meet their specific criteria, many prefer those three sites.
I recently took a look at how my listings are represented on the popular real estate search websites and discovered that Realtor.com offers the most accurate information. Although all three websites extract their data from the various multiple listing services (MLS) throughout the country, it seems that Realtor.com offers the most complete and accurate information. They have a pretty sharp mobile app, as well. Further, home shoppers deserve accurate details about the home they are interested in seeing and potentially purchasing.
In fact, I have had to edit my listings on both Trulia and Zillow to correct mistakes or add information that was not extracted from the MLS. Correcting the errors of popular third-party syndication websites like Trulia and Zillow is not the most efficient use of my time. If they dropped the ball on my listings, I can only imagine how often they do for others.
Maybe the reason why Realtor.com has the best information is because the National Association of REALTORS® owns Realtor.com. It could also be because Trulia.com and Zillow.com sell advertising space and offer features to real estate agencies. They basically use the data that we provide to them through our MLS, a service that we pay for as agents, to sell services back to us. Therefore, someone may be looking at one of my listings and mistakenly assume another agent is person they should contact regarding that home.
If an agent doesn’t want another agent’s advertisement on their listings, as is the case with Trulia, they have to pay a hefty monthly fee. It is quite the scheme.
Another thing to consider that Massachusetts real estate license law explicitly states that a real estate agent or agency is prohibited from advertising a property without the including the real estate agency’s name (253 CMR 3.00). So, for example, if Zillow requires an agent to claim their listings rather than simply including the agent’s broker information, one can’t help but wonder if they are effectively breaking the law. What’s more, although I had previously claimed my listings on Zillow, today I went back on to make sure that the information was still correct and discovered much to my chagrin that my listings were no longer attached to my name. Upon further investigation, I have learned that other agents have had the same issue with Zillow.
I’ve never had the issues with the accuracy of my listing data with Realtor.com than I have had with sites like Trulia and Zillow. Some real estate sales professionals have even decided to pull their listings from these third-party syndication websites because of the prevalence of inaccurate data.
If you would like to receive listings that meet your specific criteria and avoid any possibility of receiving inaccurate information, give me a call at 413-531-7129 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also click here.
If you are planning on buying or selling a home in the Pioneer Valley, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129. Michael Seward is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Buyers Agent, a Certified Loss Mitigation Specialist, a Certified New Homes Specialist, and Green designee of the National Association of REALTORS®.