Chances are, you’ve used Zillow in the past on your search for an apartment or home.
Even Rob Partin, owner of this site and Partin Real Estate, admits it has some functionality not offered by most realtors’ websites.
“I’ll give them this, they’re hands down the best app when it comes to search tools,” Partin said. “I probably use it every other day.”
However, it has some glaring weaknesses that lead many to believe you should use a realtor over Zillow when buying a home.
Real estate agents’ data is more accurate
So, if their app and website are so handy, why would anyone not want to use Zillow?
Well, for one, they’re presenting incorrect data.
“When it comes down to having the knowledge you need or the correct information, it’s very rare that they’re right,” Partin said. “They will mess up square feet, they will mess up the age of the home, if it has a basement, taxes, and [Homeowners Association] fees.”
It’s been talked about for years now that Zillow’s “Zestimates” can be highly inaccurate because, as Partin described it, Zillow’s information is basically “a copy of a copy.”
Which, in turn, then becomes an incorrect representation of the home’s history and value.
How does this happen?
Only local real estate brokers and agents have direct access to the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, which is the database of all homes for sale by all real estate brokers in the surrounding area.
Zillow relies on all of this data secondhand and, in a lot of cases, has to rely on agents giving them the listing information and manually updating it if anything changes.
This leads to a lot of errors in Zestimates and other listing information.
Zillow has lead to an increase in dual-agency
According to a recent study done by Morgan Stanley, more than 60 percent of realtors who advertise themselves as Premier Agents on Zillow reported an increase of dual agency (where the same agent represents both the buyer and seller) transactions by about 30 percent.
How can an agent representing both sides truly advocate for either?
Even if they were to offer discounted commission, some would say they can’t.
Buying a house, for most, is the biggest financial decision you’ll make in your lifetime.
Having an honest, trustworthy real estate agent who is fully dedicated to your needs is what you deserve during the homebuying process.
Homebuyers in Bolivar and Southwest Missouri have other options
Partin Real Estate is excited to announce changes coming to its website including the ability to create user profiles to save searches on our site as well as sign up for listings to be delivered to your email!
Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for updates and, of course, right here on our website for the new features to arrive!