Why Ditching Zillow will help you find your Dream Home

online-real-estate-development-india-300x225You have the power

The home buying market has changed. Gone are the days when buyers had to rely on information being spoon fed to them.  The power now lies in the hands of the consumer.  But with power comes responsibility…there is so much info on the internet, it’s easy to be steered in the wrong direction.  90% of home buyers rely on the internet as a primary research resource; yet online real estate outlets like Trulia and Zillow aren’t always up-to-date.  A good REALTOR® has the right tools, can clarify, verify, and lend knowledge and experience to the home buying process.

 1.     The ‘Ole Bait and Switch

Can you imagine if the kid in the front row gave you study notes for a test and they turned out to be bogus?  Or…what if you went to a dealership, saw your dream car, and the sales person said, “Oh, I’m sorry, that car was sold 2 years ago.  We just like to keep it in the showroom because it attracts customers.”  You’d probably never trust either of those sources again.  It’s frustrating and not in the best interest of the consumer.  Well, that’s what happens with some real estate websites.

Redfin recently conducted an assessment of Trulia and Zillow and some of the findings were pretty embarrassing:

  • 36% of all listings shown on Zillow and Trulia were no longer for sale in the local MLS
  • Of total # of homes on the market, Trulia displayed only 81% and Zillow 79%”

What does that mean to you?

In other words, over 33% of the listings you are seeing are NOT ACTUALLY FOR SALE and you only get to see 80% of homes actually for sale.

2.     Day Late and a Dollar Short

When a NEW property hits the market, it’s published on the MLS in a matter of minutes but it can take as long as 9 days to populate nationally syndicated sites.  In a tight market with little inventory, 9 days is TOO LONG to wait.  By then your dream house could be in escrow with a better informed buyer.

 3.     What’s my home worth? Don’t ask Zillow ask Tony Papillo

Zillow’s estimate is not even close to most homes’ actual values.  It takes an experienced REALTOR® to fill in the gaps left by computer-generated valuation systems.  No software in the universe can do it alone.  Sure, a website can do a somewhat decent job of comparing QUANTITY items, such as square footage, bedroom/bathroom count, year of construction, etc.  But to evaluate the QUALITY elements that are vital to a home’s value, there’s no replacement for a human being walking through your home to assess floor plan, quality of finishes, view and neighborhood factors like street location and noise.  Quality items can’t be calculated by a computer.

Zillow’s “accuracy” for Los Angeles County:


Homes on


Homes w/


Within 5% of

Sale Price

Within 10% of

Sale Price

Within 20% of

Sale Price

Median Error

Los Angeles, CA








So how do you get the right information?

3 Ways to get accurate information updated every 15 minutes: 

  1. Online: go to http://www.tonypapillo.com/homes-for-sale-search/
  2. Mobile: text TONY to 87778
  3. Mobile App from your laptop: http://87778.mobi/TONY

Confused by Zillow?
Call Tony Papillo

© 2014 Tony Papillo, Residential Real Estate Broker, Agent, Attorney
Associate Manager
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
9000 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 100
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Cell: 310.497.4117
BRE# 01464847 | CSB# 231002
International President’s Circle

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