I’m here to shout from the rooftops with as much enthusiasm and conviction as I can muster- “WHEN LOOKING FOR A HOME-DON’T TURN TO ZILLOW FOR INFORMATION!” Zillow is in fact a huge presence on the internet- listing millions of homes supposedly for sale and all the details you’ll want to know in order to make decisions about your purchase…or sale. Their purpose for existing is to accumulate enough addresses so that they can sell a prominent ad position to Real Estate agents looking for leads.
The problem with this scenario for buyers and sellers is that they don’t owe any loyalty, due diligence or accuracy to buyers or sellers. Their primary goal is the accumulation of lots of data in one spot, so that they can attract viewers. Many of the properties are no longer on the market, priced incorrectly, misrepresented as to what amenities go with the house, etc.… No one at Zillow ever visited any of the listings, and may have never even visited your town. Just because it is on the internet- doesn’t make it right, or truthful or real! Don’t be a sucker!
So- you are asking right now- how do I find a home if I want to do a little research on my own? That is a good question and a valid question. My first answer is to go to okhrealtors.com and do a search either for the property you want- or do a search for a local REALTOR. All of the local REALTORS are listed on the OKHREALTORS.com website with a little bio, email address and website – if they have one. Everyone who has a website has the ability for consumers to do searches for property there. But even better- the information has been verified by a listing agent to exact standards that will insure that you will be getting accurate and up to date information.
To join an MLS, a REALTOR promises to personally verify the accuracy of the info and the data they share. And- by agreeing to IDX (Internet Data Exchange) they can include all listings in the MLS so that your search can be a complete searches of the area- even other REALTOR’s listings! The MLS ‘s aren’t open to Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com as a rule- so it’s a shot in the dark as to which listings are accurate and which ones are just leftovers from last year or just fillers.
Realtor.com is another option. Why is it any different from Zillow? Because they have an agreement with NAR that allows REALTOR.com to load up new listings in real time directly from the MLSs and also required REALTOR.com to remove them immediately when they are no longer active. In other words- the source of and accuracy of the listings is legitimate. This is the biggest investment most of us will ever make, and it is so important to be precise. (You would never let an unlicensed and unregulated surgeon do surgery “in the vicinity” of your appendix- right??) Accuracy is important!
By the way- while you’re on the okhrealtors.com website- check out our amazing business friends and partners! (Also known as our affiliates). We have the best in the business!! http://okhrealtors.com/
Peggy R. Smith is the Association Executive for the Old KY Home Board of REALTORS. The Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS owns and operates the MLS for the Nelson, Washington,
Marion, Larue and Hart Counties in Kentucky and has over 50 years serving our local area. Member of Kentucky Association of REALTORS and National Association of REALTORS.