Linda's Blog


My Customers have found Out the Truth out about Zillow!

Buying a Home


I received my copy of Realtor magazine recently.  As I read the letter's on the Reader's Feedback page, one letter really got my attention. It was titled, "Overcoming Bad Data.' This Realtor is voicing the same frustrations I have about having to defend my data against Zillows!! As if our jobs are not difficult enough these days, I have to give my customers a 'talking to' about who Zillow is and who is and the Multiple Listing's unbelievable but we are in a position to have to defend where and how WE get our data from.

The consumer hears and sees 'MLS' but they really don't know what it is and how it works OR who is presenting these numbers to the public about sales. Consumer doesn't know that is EVERY SINGLE REAL ESTATE COMPANY IN THE UNITED STATES WHO BELONGS TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS and has a listing it goes on and that it 'IS' the MLS Nationwide. Info

As this Realtor so clearly points out in their letter, 'why should I be forced to discredit Zillow's data before I present mine?" Having to have a discussion with the customer about Zillow shouldn't even be a part of the presentation.

I can only wish and hope other Realtors will see this also and stop using and paying Zillow. Realtor's who pay and support Zillow add to the problem.

What problem you might ask? Almost every listing appointment I go on, the consumer is aware of Zillow and they use it, 'cause they like the pretty pictures'..... Customers send me an MLS# they got from listing exists or ever could've been a SOLD from 2 yrs ago...

woman with homes

I have to stop what I'm doing to let the customer know this AFTER I try to locate the listing...much work and so unnessary, but, if I don't get back to the customer and then explain the data source, they think I'm withholding a property......... Why would I do that but that's what they think. I had to let a customer know that I'd like to sell it to them but it DOES NOT EXIST AND ZILLOW'S DATA IS MESSED UP BECAUSE THEY DON'T GET THEIR INFORMATION FROM THE MLS.

I have to spend time re-educating the customer about the source of the sales information and having to look like I'm bad mouthing Zillow in order to get the customer to use or my IDX for searches. I even send automatic searches to my customers and they STILL will go to Zillow thinking I'm not telling them the truth! UGGGGGH...takes weeks to convince the customer the searches they receive in their INBOX are the real listings. house on tornado

Eventually, I win! This is my wish, 'every Realtor or agent who reads this to immediately abandon Zillow.'


Happy house hunting!



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Comment balloon 5 commentsLinda Just • May 30 2013 08:04AM


This is great information, Linda!!  We all end up having a discussion with our sellers and buyers about Zillow!  Getting the right information out to the public is OUR task and duty in performing the type of service we want to be remembered by.  Zillow can be a distraction, but by having the proper dialogue with our clients, we can minimize it's effect on their real estate endeavor.

Posted by Dan Hopper, Denver Realtor / Author / Advocate/Short Sale (Keller Williams Realty Downtown LLC) almost 5 years ago

Why should I be forced to discredit Zillow's data before presenting mine? It shouldn't be there at all. It's all crap! Consumers haven't learned much of anything since the financial collapse...going to Zillow means you are still not getting the correct information...what favor does this do for the consumer?

Posted by Linda Just, SFR (Leibowitz Realty Group - Palm Beach Gardens, FL) almost 5 years ago

Linda:  They are here to stay, but consumers are becomming aware that the public sites are not as accurate as an MLS search.  We pay for our MLS through dues,  the public sites get information from the County Recorder's office.  I ususally don't discredit the public sites I just tell it like it is.  I have written lenghtly articles about the way Zeastmates are calculated.  

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula, Realty Works Temecula (Realty Works Temecula) almost 5 years ago

Linda, Yes,it is a hassle to deal with Zillow's misinformation, however, this is a great opportunity to show the consumer  that their info is not typically accurate, they are out to get business, the market is a jungle out there, and YOU provide the best value proposition to help them achieve their real estate goals.  I have written a blog article on some of their other practices like listing my old listings... showing the consumer that you are credible.  The reality is that, if not Zillow, there will always be another Zillow to deal with (Trulia, Yahoo, AOL, who else?) so I try to be the best agent I can and serve their best interests. 

Posted by James Endo, ABR, CPRES, CRS, SRES... Since 1987! (KW Bay Area Estates) almost 5 years ago
Linda, in addition to the bad data on Zillow, their site is LOADED with scammers. The dead giveaway are listings with only the exterior front view of the property, and contact information with area codes out of the area of the listing. It is in not just the sale listings but with a higher frequency, in the rental listings. Just another reason to avoid Zillow.
Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (Realty One Group) almost 5 years ago

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