Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and Real Time Search Results

Real Estate Agent with McGraw Realtors

the mouse problem by Bob HaywoodOnce upon a time there was a building that had a mouse problem.  They knew they had a mouse problem because they found mouse poop in the kitchen drawers.  “Ick!” yelled the cook, “Something must be done!”

So the smart people got together to tackle the problem.  One of them suggested getting a cat.  They would let the cat live in the building and it would take care of the mouse problem for them.  “The problem with that,” said one wise person, “Is that we’ll have to leave the cabinet doors open.  And we’ll have to feed the cat and set up cat litter box duty.  No thanks!”

Someone else suggested getting a plastic snake and putting it in the drawers where the mouse poop was found.  “This will not work,” said one of the farmers.  “I use plastic snakes in my garden to scare off the birds and they work well.  But plastic snakes do not scare off mice.  Mice are not afraid of plastic snakes.  They just run right over them and ignore them.”  So they scraped that idea.

Eventually they decided to use mouse traps with some peanut butter smeared on the trigger.  And of course, it worked like a charm!  The mouse problem was quickly eradicated and everybody was happy.

Are you looking to buy a Tulsa Oklahoma house online?  Are you using sites like Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com and others?  If so, you’re a whole lot like those people who wanted to take care of the mouse problem using the cat and the plastic snake.  You’re getting some information about Tulsa Oklahoma houses, but not necessarily the correct information.

And why is that?  Because online sites like Zillow, Trulia and even Reatlor.com get their information from a database called the Multi-List System.  This is where all Real Estate folks put the information about houses they have for sale.  And all this information is regulated.  It has to be entered correctly. 

This information is released to online sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com.  And guess what?  They are not regulated.  They can do with the information anything they wish.  Now, this doesn’t mean they willfully change it.  I’m convinced they don’t.  However, we often find that correct information does not find its’ way from the Multi-List Database to Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com.  Somehow or other, details sometimes get lost in translation.

How do we know this?  Because often, when a home buyer calls about a property they found on one of those sites, the information is incorrect.  The property may have already been sold.  The estimate of value is off or, the agent listed by the property actually has nothing to do with the property.

That’s when we go to our Multi-List system where we find accurate and real-time information.  We can tell you when the house went for sale, IF the house even IS for sale and who the listing agent is and if there has been any price reductions.  We can tell you lots of other helpful information also.  All you have to do is ask!

So the next time you’re looking for a property, go online if you want.  But to be a smart Tulsa Oklahoma home shopper, call up your local real estate agent.  They’ll get you what you need!

Real results...it's as simple as using peanut butter to catch a mouse!  And everyone knows that works!

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Information and content in this blog is original to Bob Haywood

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Bob Haywood
Bob Haywood
Owasso, Oklahoma REALTOR®

(918) 272-7272

Click here to check out the awesome HaywoodHomeTeam website.  The premier greater Tulsa and Owasso, OK homes local informational website for your real estate needs. I also have a great blog filled with tons of information regarding Owasso Homes.

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Comments (32)

Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


You are preaching to the choir here, and I think these sites have had their day in the sun!

Feb 08, 2012 08:50 AM
Luis Iniguez
Option One Real Estate - Fontana, CA
Search Inland Empire Homes For Sale - Short Sale Agent

Awesome post, I have several clients that state they saw this and that online.   At the end all there info is not updated.

Feb 08, 2012 09:06 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Their lack of updating have caused numerous problems for our group !!!

Feb 08, 2012 09:51 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Great analogy, Bob.  I can't remember how many inquires I've fielded from an online site that had wrong data, closed six months ago or simply didn't exist (wrong address).  Always best to stick with the local folks.

Feb 08, 2012 11:28 AM
Jill Kipnis
Move, Inc. - Westlake Village, CA

Hi Bob, thanks for this post. I wanted to share some information regarding Realtor.com's listing data. Our site's listings are sent directly to us from our 900+ MLS partners every day, and 82% of those listings are updated directly by the MLSs every 15 minutes. The rest are updated every one to 24 hours. Accurate listing data is so important to us--we agree that no one wants to waste time looking at a property that has already sold or may have had a price change that puts it out of budget.

Feb 08, 2012 11:36 AM
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Agregator sites such as the one you mention were never designed to provide a service to the consumer they were designed to generate an income stream for the service. In our area our personal web sites are updated direct from our board so they are even more current than the National MLS® site by up to 48 hours

Feb 08, 2012 01:08 PM
Laurie Clark CRB Angel Realty LLC Your Monument Realtor 719-502-6572
CRB-CCSS-ASD-HBS-RSD-Denver Short Sale Agents - Monument, CO
Angel Realty, LLC

Congrats on the feature! You make a great point. If a client wants real time, up to date information they need to call a local Realtor. Truilla, Zillow and the rest are not very accurate. Thanks for sharing and have a great week.

Feb 08, 2012 01:48 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Bob, I loved your mouse story - and now, I'll add to my presentation. I do get leads from Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com - and I do mention that the data there is borrowed from our MLS - so why don't you get the original?

Feb 08, 2012 03:02 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Bob - This is quite an analogy.  And, you're right.  I've had so many people find wrong information on some of the sites.

Feb 08, 2012 03:04 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Well done!  If only home sellers knew how their property was being used the minute they have it listed . . . fodder for the third-party syndicators, who milk millions and millions of property listings for fun and profit . . . and the home buyer has no recompense at all.  I love my MLS.

Feb 08, 2012 03:23 PM
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


Probably all of us have received calls from a buyer wanting to see a property that sold years ago.  That information is out in the ether and no one knows how to correct the problem.  A woman who bought a property I had listed at least 5 years ago called me to ask me to take the information down from the web.  I told her that the MLS showed the property sold, and so did the sites we syndicate to.  But others don't acknowledge update of listings and that is how she found it still on the web. 

Feb 08, 2012 05:06 PM
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Bob, I like your analogy.  Let's get another animal in there and say, 'get it from the horse's mouth. Can I tell you who the snakes are? Never mind, it is a public post. lol

Feb 08, 2012 05:34 PM
Ron Cooks
The Real Estate Marketplace - Killeen, TX
Texas Real Estate, Ft Hood/Killeen Homes for Sale

Bob, what a great way to tell the story about syndicated sites and the information they provide.

Feb 08, 2012 06:33 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Good Morning Bob, This is a fantastic blog that really brings up a troubling trend. I ioften get lists of homes, addresses or MLS number from buyer who have used these sources and the homes are under contract or even closed.  The buyers get frustrated becuase they do believe it is all one in the same. I always hear if it is online it has to be true?

Feb 09, 2012 12:51 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

So many of my buyers are on this site and think they are getting information I don't have....ugh. After awhile of sending me listings that sold a year or more ago, they go back to my site and get accurate information.

Feb 09, 2012 03:25 AM
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Incredible post! Zillow is misleading end consumers into making incorrect decisions about their financial future.

Mar 05, 2012 12:14 AM
Jane Becker
Keller Williams Home Team AdvantEdge - Worcester, MA

Great aritcle, I keep telling consumers but you put it so eloquently, worth re-blogging

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