Consumers love Zillow, especially home buyers. It can provide an easy-to-navigate experience and provide a great deal of property information. However, there are some major shortcomings:
1. Missing data – Zillow is not as current as MLS, which is a big problem in hot markets. Plus, listed properties, data fields, and photos may not appear.
2. Zestimates – Zillow’s fine print stats that Zestimates are “a starting point to determine a home’s value” and that a real estate agent’s CMA is an important next step. But do buyers read the fine print or understand this? A Zestimate is an algorithm and may not take into consideration items that cannot be quantified, such as view, neighborhood unique features, etc.
3. Advertising – Users will see that each home listing includes over a dozen paid ads (for agents, lenders, insurance, etc.). This means that Zillow is basically an advertising platform. On the other hand, MLS is ad free.
Be careful when looking at Zillow; remember they are an advertising platform, not an information-based platform like the MLS. Rely on your buyer’s agent to help you navigate further.
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