Are traditional realtors going the way of the Dodo? As our world becomes more and more virtual, companies like Zillow are emerging to try to take over the real estate industry. Will there ever be a time where you can buy or sell your home entirely online without having to hire anyone? While this sounds like the natural next step of the industry based on how integrated technology is in our lives, it’s not feasible. Should you use Zillow to buy or sell a home in Pearl City? Here’s why you should stick to a traditional realtor.
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Since 2006, Zillow has been attempting to change the real estate industry. They were established in Seattle, Washington. Their database acts as a free resource for people to view listings, connect with a realtor, and complete the full lifecycle of buying or selling a home in Pearl City online. Those who are looking for rentals can also find available properties in their area on Zillow.
Zillow makes a lot of claims when it comes to their process and how beneficial it is for their clients. They can help with financing, renovation resources, mortgages, and more. Their principal product is called “Zestimates,” where they claim to give accurate appraisal information to users strictly online. Zillow also has a network of affiliate websites that work similarly to them.
How Do They Make Money?
Since Zillow is free to use, how do they make money? They partner with realtors who pay fees, they have their iBuying process, and they are a considerable advertisement platform for interested businesses.
Their realtor partnership program is called the Premier Realtor Service. Essentially, realtors pay a subscription fee to be put at the top of the list when it comes to leads, advertisements, and the iBuying process. Each realtor that is part of the premier service will be notified of incoming leads, and they will have the same advertising opportunities as the other premier realtors.
iBuying is buying a home or selling a home online, from beginning to end. It’s very automated and straightforward, so the iBuying process is efficient and straightforward.
Zillow is popular among advertisers because of the clearly defined audience they serve. Companies like mortgage brokers, telecommunications companies, interior designers, construction companies, or insurance companies greatly benefit from being able to reach Zillow’s audience. They also pay top dollar to advertise on Zillow’s recognized network of websites. AOL Real Estate, MyNewPlace, Hot Pads, MSN Real Estate, and Trulia are all part of the Zillow group.
Using a Realtor Versus Zillow
It does seem like the real estate market would be the right candidate to move towards the e-commerce model, but Zillow falls short of this being possible anytime soon. If you want to buy or sell a home in Pearl City, reconsider using Zillow, and choose the tried and true method of a real estate agent.
A realtor has access to up-to-the-minute listing information with the MLS system. Zillow is heavily criticized for having inaccurate information on their site. They usually have listings that have already sold being advertised as available. This can be very frustrating for Peal City residents who are looking to purchase their dream home in the area.
A realtor has opinions, thoughts, and expertise that they can provide you. They can help you through any problem and find a solution for you. You build a relationship with them. Zillow is just data, and a means to try and get your Pearl City home sold or bought quickly without having to provide any support. You take care of all the leg work, sifting through homes for hours, and being bombarded by numerous realtors who aren’t even the listing agent of the property.
A realtor can put you in contact with, or bring in, and experienced appraiser, who can give you an accurate idea of what your home is worth. Zillow is trying to overtake the market with their own “Zestimates,” but they are under fire for being almost always wrong. There is a big issue with this, as it adds another level of frustration for clients who take the information they get as face value. Zillow can’t possibly give an accurate estimate without seeing the property in question.
When you hire a realtor, you are dealing with them individually for every interaction. Zillow’s revenue model encourages a negative customer experience. If you request more information or want to book a showing through Zillow, you will provide them your information. Your contact will be sent to every Premier Realtor in the area. This means you could be contacted up to 15 times by different realtors who are fighting for your business. They are most likely not the listing agent, so they won’t be able to answer any questions about the property as they haven’t seen it themselves.
The Premier Realtors that have previously worked with Zillow don’t recommend other realtors get involved with the company. Zillow forces those who are just browsing their site to put in their contact information to continue browsing. However, they still get sent to the pool of partners as an interested potential client. This is frustrating for the realtors, as these are not great leads that have been qualified in any way.
Hiring a Realtor is Better
Everything about choosing a realtor over Zillow will leave you a happier consumer for selecting an agent. Zillow has some work to do to be considered an asset to the real estate industry, as they don’t live up to many of their promises. If you are going to buy or sell a home in Pearl City, you will want to seek out a professional realtor.
A realtor has a wealth of knowledge, especially if you choose someone who is an expert in the neighborhoods you’re interested in, or they’ve been doing the job for long enough.
A Pearl City neighborhood expert knows the ins and outs of those communities, and they may even live there themselves. They can give you tips and information that aren’t available online. Whether it’s their favorite park to visit, or the trail closeby, they add value to the transaction you’re about to make. Zillow can only provide you with the information it’s given, and typically those tips are not included in the listing.
A realtor’s commission is a huge motivation for them to provide an excellent experience, as they don’t make money until you’re satisfied and have closed the deal.
If you’re going to sell your Pearl City home, a realtor can get you a real appraisal, and they can provide you with the best tips they’ve learned over their career on how to sell your home fast. They also know how to get your home in front of the right people. Zillow simply advertises your home the same way they advertise thousands of other homes.
Choosing Zillow would only leave you frustrated and wishing you had hired a professional realtor in the first place. Zillow makes a lot of claims that it can’t deliver on, which is stressful for most of the clients who choose Zillow. Even if you have purchased and sold a few houses in your day, choosing Zillow could still leave you feeling like a novice. If you want to buy or sell a home in Pearl City, hire a realtor that has experience in your desired community.
Traditional real estate agents have not been overrun by technology simply because they bring too much value, and companies like Zillow cannot compete. There’s still hope for personal touches in our technology-driven society, and that lies with the realtor.