[Estimated read time: 5 minutes]
People are always turning to the internet to search for answers. Trusting that the information they find is accurate.
However, that is not always the case.
As a motivated homebuyer searching online, you are constantly checking different websites for the newest listings. Desperately trying to find that perfect home.
Adjusting and expanding your search to see if there is something else out there that you may have overlooked.
But still nothing!
Many online lookers run across national sites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin and others. These sites have done a tremendous job when it comes to providing data that homebuyers are looking for. They offer a great user experience to keep people coming back.
One major problem. Accuracy!
When looking for homes in Louisville on Zillow you will often notice discrepancies compared to other local websites. Many users will find homes that have already been sold days, if not weeks before.
These sites are not always accurate.
Zillow and Trulia, in the past, received their data through a syndication from local MLS's and ListHub. ListHub was a viable source for these websites that gave them direct information from the MLS.
However, this did not last and ListHub decided not to renew their contract with Zillow when the time came.
Where does the Data come from?
National sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin receive MLS listings directly from large, Broker syndications. Although, this doesn’t always mean they have the most updated information for available homes for sale.
One of the guidelines that is posted on Zillow’s websites is that participating Broker’s must have a minimum of 200 listings in order to take advantage of the Broker feed.
What does this mean?
Not every Broker is advertising their just listed homes on Trulia or Zillow. There are many, small real estate brokerage's in small town's that may not have 200 plus listings. So, for a homebuyer looking for a home for sale in a smaller town in Kentucky on Zillow. You may be missing out.
That one home may fall through the cracks if you are not searching on a local real estate website that has a direct feed from the Greater Louisville Board of Realtors MLS feed.
So, how do you find a real estate website that is more accurate than Zillow?
For a new homebuyer, you want to find the best real estate website in Kentucky to search for new MLS listings. A national site like Zillow or Trulia may not be the best site for you when looking for your next home.
Zillow only has 63% of the MLS Listings...
After doing a little research. I noticed just how inaccurate Zillow is compared to Local websites.
Below is a quick example on how many homes you may actually be missing out on when searching on Zillow. When I searched for real estate in 40245 on Zillow there were only 151 homes for sale .
Compared to the local MLS and local websites that receive their data directly from the MLS. There were 240 active homes for sale.
That is a huge difference!
This means that Zillow is only showing 63% of the listings for sale in the 40245 zip code. Just imagine how many homes you may be missing out on if you are not searching on a local real estate website that has a direct feed from the local MLS.
Redfin and Zillow Inaccurate Estimates (Zestimates)
Another 'entertaining' tool that real estate websites are using is home valuation widgets. These estimates are provided by a machine-learned, computer-based model. Meaning that they will likely improve as there is more activity within the general area of the subject property.
These estimated home values have been a topic of discussion for years. Local Realtors and homeowners have complained about their inaccuracies...repeatedly!Even some have claimed that they inadvertently impacted the sale of their home.
Even some have claimed that they inadvertently impacted the sale of their home.
Home valuation tools can not replace a professional CMA that is done manually or an actual Appraisal. There are some instances where these estimates may be close to the market value of the home but it could also be thousands of dollars off. These learned based models can improve only if there is enough information from a densed area where there is a lot of activity to improve the estimates. Nonetheless, they are still missing any necessary adjustments for improvements that have been made to the interior of the home.
What are your thoughts when using national websites vs local websites? Do you find that local websites provide better information for homebuyers and homesellers? Many of these local sites are managed by actual residents and professionals in the area that has a wealth of information that cannot simply be replaced by pure, machine-generated data.
Nathan Garrett is a local real estate agent in Louisville KY. Creator of the GarrettsRealty.com website. He specializes in Real Estate in Louisville and Oldham County. Questions about buying a home? Send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org