Come on Zillow. I have had enough! I am calling you out!
Zillow recently posted an article indicating that if a listing real estate agent does NOT post their listings to Zillow, they may not be doing their job properly! Oh, and they did not make it open to the general public so that regular people wouldn't see through them! (Don't worry Zillow, this is made public for them.)
One of my favorite real estate agent bloggers RENEE BURROWS wrote a fantastic response and raised a question that I wanted to address:
Why aren't highly branded websites (and other advertising mediums) held by the same standards of conduct and ethics that Realtors are sworn in and licensed to protect?
This is because they are not selling the homes. They do not recieve commissions or fees for the sale of any property. Even if they charged a fee to advertise the home, they are not an agent in the transaction, simply an advertising medium.
The focus of websites like Zillow is to SELL ADS! They don't give a rip if the information on their website is acurate or authentic. They just want to sell ads. YOu sell ads by showing the advertisers that you have a lot of traffic. You get a lot of traffic by offering free tools... and the tools don't have to be realistic.
The general public that has no idea of what a property's value is will be mislead by Zillow. Plain and simple. Why doesn't Zillow change this? They don't care... if they make a buck off the ad placed next to the misleading property info, then it was successful!
Zillow now offers Mortgage Quotes as well. Of course, these are completely anonymous. The potential borrower puts in as much or as little info as they want. It doesn't have to be accurate either. But they get to have lenders compete by giving them quotes based on meaningless information. If they don't like the quotes, they can give the lender a bad rating! What the heck is that?
Have we lost common sense?
Zillow is bad for real estate. We don't need ANOTHER real estate website to promote homes for sale. I can do a Google search for real estate in ANY market and get thousands of websites... if I want to find a home, I can find a home.
So what value does Zillow bring? Only that which they can line their pockets with in ad revenue. It is self serving and all around (in my humble opinion) a joke that anyone takes them seriously.
And please Zillow employees... don't call me this time asking me to "just give us a try." I'll make you a deal... if your Zestimate is so damn accurate, buy MY home right now for the amount you think it's worth! I'd gladly sell for the price YOU think it's worth. No one else would buy it at that price!