Why One is Superior to the Other?


Why One is Superior to the Other?

Do you recall in grade school when you would do a research project and you wouldn’t get credit if your source was Wikipedia? Well, the same thing should hold true when researching to buy a home and your source is Zillow.


Zillow is a giant marketing company with the sole purpose to create revenue for their website. They do this by extracting your contact information and selling it to REALTORS® (well, the ones who pay for it). I do not think there is anything wrong with fundamentals of the way Zillow runs their business, however, the problem is they have inaccurate data and often false advertise.


Let me explain how it works:


The REALTOR® Association spends millions of dollars to develop what is called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is a database managed by licensed real estate professionals to help their clients buy and sell properties. The local Charlotte MLS is called Canopy MLS. Websites like Zillow,, Trulia, Redfin, etc. are sourcing data from MLS to advertise on their site. The idea behind the third-party advertising websites is great – a larger audience leads to a greater reach. However, the third-party websites are not governed by an association so information can go stale or be completely incorrect with no recourse.


A real-world example of why Zillow isn’t the best platform for a home search:


A recent client of mine that closed on their dream home started their search on Zillow. They found a beautiful home in Madison Park that they wanted purchase. They reached out to me (#RealtyRyan) because they wanted more information on the property and why it was on the market for ~200 days, given its superior location. I did a quick search on the Canopy MLS and discovered the property had sold 2 months prior for ~$100k over the list price on Zillow!


That example leads me to my next topic: Zestimates.


You want to use a company that stands by its products, right? Well, Zillow states that Zestimates should be within 10% of the sale price of the home…Get this…. The Zillow CEO, Spencer Rascoff, sold his home in Seattle for $1.05 million, 40 percent less than the Zestimate of $1.75 million shown on its property page a day later! The sad reality is that not everyone knows this information.


Last month, I came across a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) that listed their property on Zillow at the Zestimate price. The house was located in the Grier Heights neighborhood, which is gentrifying quickly due to its proximity to Eastover. The seller sold their home on the same day after posting a few pictures and a description on Zillow… However, the Zestimate was way under the market value of the home. I’m talking roughly under $100k.  If the seller used a license real estate professional (#RealtyRyan), they would have known the true market value of their home and had a big chunk of change in their pocket.


These are two great examples of why you should use a REALTOR® over Zillow but the list goes on and on. If you reference back to my website where I show the steps to purchase a home, contacting #RealtyRyan is one of the first steps. From there, we will work together on an MLS search for exactly what you are looking for with real-time, accurate data.


#RealtyRyan is your one-stop shop for all things home buying and selling in Charlotte, NC. I look forward to working through this process with you to ensure all I’s are dotted, and T’s are crossed.

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