You’ve probably done research online to buy your new home and you’ve probably used a popular website like Realtor.com or Zillow. While both these sites offer free real estate market data, and are very similar, they both have their differences.
Lets compare the strengths and weaknesses of these real estate websites, to see what each has to offer.
Searching: When it comes to searching “homes for sale” on the web, Zillow will most likely appear at the top of the search results, while Realtor.com might appear lower down on the page. This is due to the fact that Zillow maximizes their marketing efforts in order to appear higher in page rankings. This is why many people searching for homes will end up on the Zillow website over Realtor.com.
Finding Homes: If you want to look at listings of homes for sale, you can do so on both Zillow and Realtor.com, they display featured homes along with more in depth information about the homes. However, when doing identical searches on both sites, where price, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and location are all the same, Realtor.com displayed more houses. A study done by a competitor of Zillow discovered that out of 6,401 home listings in 33 zip codes from 11 metro areas, Zillow was missing about 20% of the listings. The study also found that Zillow tended to lag by about a week in displaying new listings, and about a third of the properties shown as active on Zillow, were no longer for sale.
Realtors: Zillow displays “featured” homes that are listed by agents who pay to have their listings appear at the top of the search results. Zillow also displays agent profiles alongside those of competing agents. Realtor.com just displays the listing agent for the house being displayed. Realtor.com, however, is based off of the MLS listings and is operated by the National Association of Realtors, therefore, Realtors prefer Realtor.com to Zillow.
Estimate Property Value: There are many reasons to estimate a property’s value, but can you rely on these numbers to be accurate? Realtor.com and Zillow both display estimated property value, but both don’t take into consideration all the upgrades or changes an owner has made to the house. These estimates are good to get a ballpark idea of the value, but the appraisal value is what the lenders use, not the estimation on these websites. Both websites, however, make it easy to see comparable listings and recently sold homes near a property.
Bottom Line: . Both of these sites have strengths and weaknesses. If there is one unique aspect that is particularly important to you, it might make sense to favor one site over the other. Despite the information both sites offer, you may not want to use either site as your primary resource if you are actively searching for a home. Relying on your Realtor is always the best bet.
Before you start your search, get an idea of how much you can spend on a home. Reach out to Rick Cignoli to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of his FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval Service