Zillow Confuses Home Buyers Looking at Homes for Sale

By
Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate BRE #00697006

My phone rings a lot from buyers asking questions about homes for sale on Zillow. Just because a home is listed in Zillow inventory, buyers think it is for sale. The home could be foreclosed upon years ago or just owned by an unhappy homeowner who fell behind a month of two on his mortgage payments, and there is his house, listed as a preforeclosure on a public website without his knowledge nor permission.

The home could also be for rent either legally or listed by crooks who want to take your money and run. Doesn't matter, I get phone calls on all of that activity. How lucky is that? You can read more in my personal blog today at this link: The Trouble With Looking at Homes for Sale on Zillow.

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Certified HAFA Specialistelizabeth weintraub

 

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Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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Ambassador
1,555,946
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

We have seller who may be fired quite soon - took him on as a favor. At any rate, he is constantly sending me texts about this and that when he finds something on zillow and thinks it affects his listing. Argh. He's really a barrel of laughs. 

May 05, 2018 02:14 PM #1
Ambassador
3,273,428
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Elizabeth- we have a friend who looked on Zillow and feels certain he could get $$$$ for his home which I'm sure has not been updated since he bought it. He feels certain that's what he can get...no comps, no agent sitting down to talk to him...just Zillow. 

May 05, 2018 04:52 PM #2
Ambassador
3,635,180
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

That Zillow information does give us opprotunities to open conversations and talk about the importance of using a local agent.

May 05, 2018 07:24 PM #3
Rainmaker
3,490,057
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Elizabeth, had a buyer call me this past week, and said he had been on Zillow looking for homes.  I gave him the public side of our local MLS, and he will have a much more accurate view of our market.

May 06, 2018 06:09 AM #4
Rainmaker
2,355,416
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Elizabeth... fortunately, I can usually dissuade my clients from paying attention to Zillow (especially the ones whose homes are valued way lower by Zillow than they are worth today). But it's the "strangers" who call wanting to see homes that are not on the market, were sold years ago, etc. that can be difficult to deal with. I've had some get quite aggressive on the phone with me when I tried to explain how Zillow listings might be misleading. Zillow has, frankly, done a phenominal job convincing the public they are the be all and end all for real estate information.

May 06, 2018 09:26 AM #5
Rainmaker
2,137,654
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I've noticed that confusion caused by Zillow among home buyers too, Elizabeth.  And, the confusion also is present with sellers who wonder about zestimates.

May 06, 2018 07:24 PM #6
Rainmaker
2,558,097
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Most definitely isn’t the first time that this is happened. I’m almost sure of it for a lot of us as well!

May 06, 2018 11:29 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,982,525
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD I get those high maintenance sellers, too, but it is OK. Trade off for all of the low key, LOL. One seller used to call me daily and say, "Oh, look, Zillow says my property is now worth $50K more!" But then the teacher in me comes out.

May 07, 2018 07:11 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,982,525
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Kathy Streib Well, not everybody is playing with a full deck of cards.

May 07, 2018 07:12 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,982,525
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Joan Cox That's what we do, too. We offer potential buyers a free private account with accurate data through MLS. Weed through the noise.

May 07, 2018 07:13 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,982,525
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Nina Hollander I've had my share of the frustrated and angry guys who cannot believe that what they see on a public website is incorrect, especially when they paid soooo much for that info. They also think I work for Zillow so they can command my attention. Sorry, dudes, I get to choose my clients. Remember democracy? Of course you don't.

May 07, 2018 07:16 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,982,525
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Myrl Jeffcoat I see less confusion among sellers than I do buyers. I don't know if you are aware of this, but a full-blown "Cloud" CMA through MLS offers you the option, as a listing agent, to include data from Zillow. If you check that box as a preference, Cloud CMA will show sellers Zestimates vs listing or sold prices. Percentages up or down.

It presents reality. My sellers **love** this!

May 07, 2018 07:19 AM #12
Rainmaker
2,355,416
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Elizabeth... that's interesting... I've not had anyone insinuate that I work for Zillow (yet). But they have a hard time understanding that Zillow is not their partner to help them find homes, but is actually a marketing company selling ad space to agents.

May 07, 2018 07:32 AM #13
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