The web can be a wonderful thing when it comes to looking at Steamboat real estate. It’s not uncommon for buyers to visit Steamboat then go back home and begin their real estate search. Buyers and sellers can browse anonymously on their computer or iPad until they are ready to get serious, then choose a Realtor they want to work with based on what they learned online.
That’s great, unless you are using Zillow or Trulia, which notoriously has wrong information. I regularly hear from buyers who want to see a specific home they saw on Zillow only to learn it sold 8 or more months ago—yet is still showing up on these sites as an active listing.
A nationwide brokerage company recently did a study to see who has the most accurate information. It was no surprise to learn that local brokerages overwhelmingly had more complete, timely, and accurate information than Zillow and Trulia. We get our information from the MLS and it’s uploaded onto our personal sites within hours. If a property goes under contract, it no longer shows up when you search.
Third-party sites like Zillow and Trulia are syndicators and don’t have the same real-time results as local brokerage sites. Here’s how wrong these sites were in the markets where the study was done (Steamboat wasn’t one of them, but I’d bet they are wrong here at least as often.):
- 36% of listings shown as active on Zillow and Trulia were no longer for sale.
- 0% of the listings shown on local broker websites were no longer for sale.
- Zillow and Trulia only showed about 80% of properties that were for sale.
- Local broker websites (like mine) showed 100% of properties that were for sale.
- Zillow and Trulia took 7-9 days for new listings to show up on their sites.
- Local broker websites showed new home listings the same day.
And don’t even get me started about Zillow’s Zestimates. Just call me if you want a price opinion—I work in the Steamboat real estate market every day and know the prices. The other sites take county records, do something weird with them, then spit out the wrong information.