The big 3 in Real Estate search, Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com (or as some in the industry call the ZTR) have become the dominant players in Real Estate Search. That being said they are not the best way to find a home on the internet.
What they do is gather listings that are syndicated from all kinds of sources, mostly the multiple listing services or MLS's across the country, the places that real estate agents post their listings for sale.
Realtor.com was started by Realtors and has been recognized as the official site of the National Association of Realtors.
All 3 sites have the same basic business model - their revenue comes by selling ads and premier placement on their sires to Real Estate Agents.
They can be a good place for those of you getting started in your search for a new home, they have pretty graphics to entice you. However being a professional, I can give you 3 Important Reasons Not to use Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, when looking for Bellingham Real Estate:
1. No Way to Check the Status of a Listing. On the national websites, listings show up online and often stay there even after they either sell, expire or are withdrawn. It is frustrating to find a home you want to see to find out it is already under contract or sold.When using a more local site (such as this one), you will only see a property if it is actually available . The best way to find accurate information is to search on a site like this one that pulls their data directly from the local Multiple Listing Service. If a house comes on the market you will see it on a local website, the same day. not always true for the large national companies.
2. Their Zestimates are usually way off the mark. A computer algorithm to find home values will never be as accurate as a real estate professional who is familiar with the local market and can come and se the condition of your home to determine a realistic price.
3. Advertising. All 3 of these sites generate their huge incomes by selling advertising - primarily to Realtors. They take our info. and then sell it back to us to put our face and contact info. on their site. They also sell ads to a variety of other businesses that have nothing to do with looking for a home - supermarkets, moving companies, insurance companies, software companies looking to capture consumers eyeballs.
These are just some of the many reasons to use a local real estate website when searching for property in Bellingham. And if you want more local information, I am here to help you.