Should you use Zillow to buy or sell your home?

Online real estate brokerages are becoming more and more prevalent, and more people are choosing to buy or sell their home through virtual means. However, many of them are not thrilled with the outcome. While technology has made so many other parts of our life more simple, replacing realtors with a website is just not a feasible solution. Should you use Zillow to buy or sell a home in Capitol Hill? Let’s find out.  

What’s Zillow?

Why is Zillow right for you?

Zillow was founded in 2006 in Seattle, Washington. They are a real estate database that provides users with current listings, home estimates, and market trends. They claim to be the all-encompassing approach to online real estate. They will list your home, get you a mortgage, and close the sale. They can also help renters find available properties in their area. Zillow is used all over North America. 

Their signature product is their “Zestimates,” which is their online appraisal system. This system provides users an accurate estimate of what their home is worth. This product is what allows them to complete the process of selling any Capitol Hill home. 

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How does Zillow Make Money?

How does zillow make money

Zillow is a free platform that any person can access at any time, so they have different ways of generating revenue as a result. They have three main revenue streams, which are Advertising, iBuying, and their realtor partnership program. 

Advertising for companies on Zillow is a no brainer. They have a clearly defined audience and a network of other well-known sites so that advertisers will pay a high price for access to Zillow’s audience. Zillow’s affiliate sites include MyNewPlace, Hotpads, Trulia, MSN Real Estate, and AOL Real Estate. This type of advertising appeals to insurance companies, banks, mortgage brokers, telecommunications companies, interior designers, and more. It’s not a surprise that Zillow has an ample amount of businesses ready to pay for advertising on their sites. 

The iBuying process is full, start to finish, purchasing, or selling a home online. It’s very black and white, automated, and efficient. This process can be much faster than the traditional route. 

Zillow’s partnership program with realtors involves the interested realtor paying a subscription to Zillow for preferential treatment when it comes to leads, advertisements, and business. When you’re browsing Zillow, and you say that you’re interested in a property, Zillow then sends your information to all the partnered realtors. They are also the realtors that get assigned during the iBuying process. This service is called The Premier Realtor Service, and Zillow has hundreds of realtors that take part in this subscription. 

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Using Zillow Versus a Realtor

Zillow versus a Realtor

The idea of buying or selling a home in Capitol Hill online might be an exciting idea to you, and it would likely make a lot of lives more comfortable. However, Zillow’s promises and the reality of how the platform works aren’t entirely lined up yet. 

Zillow’s signature “Zestimates” is an excellent idea in theory, but it’s almost always wrong. When you consider the facts, it would be impossible for Zillow to provide an accurate estimate of a home without seeing the condition it’s in. Basing an estimate on the area and the size of the house is only half the picture. 

Zillow’s platform is data-driven and isn’t based on providing an exceptional customer experience or giving extra value to its users. A realtor that you choose to work with is all about those things. If you’re not happy, they aren’t satisfied, and they are experts in their field, so they can likely handle anything you want to throw at them. They will work hard and be motivated to find you the home of your dreams in Capitol Hill. 

Zillow is scrutinized for having inaccurate information on the site, which can cause enormous issues for clients and realtors alike. Many users claim that their listings are not current, and they have been caught advertising homes that are already sold. This can be irritating to users because if they fall in love with a Capitol Hill home and it’s already sold, they’ve gotten their hopes up for nothing. 

How Zillow makes money can also be a pain for their users. While their revenue streams allow for the website to be free and accessible for everyone, they don’t handle their leads with care. Previous clients have mentioned that they were simply browsing Zillow’s listings. Eventually, the site will prompt you for your contact information to continue browsing. At this time, you are considered a lead, and you will be sent into the pool of premier realtors. People have described up to 15 different realtors following up with them to try and get their business. This can be overwhelming and off putting for many people. 

Previous premier realtors have claimed that so many of the leads are not of good quality. When Zillow forces people who are just browsing to provide their information, it’s not likely that they are ready to purchase a home. Zillow may want to consider changing the way they collect leads. Even though these realtors are subscribed to be proprietary, they are still competing will every other Premier realtor. When you choose a traditional realtor, you work with one realtor from start to finish. 

Related: The Financial Advantages of Home Ownership

Hiring a Traditional Realtor

Hiring a tradition Realtor to get results

Obviously, Zillow is not living up to the promises they are making. If they could resolve the issues they have, they might be a valuable resource for many people looking for a home in Capitol Hill. Choosing a realtor saves you a headache from dealing with all of these issues. 

Researching your Capitol Hill realtor is always the first step to hiring a professional. Finding someone who is an expert in your desired Capitol Hill community is a real asset to have. Whether you hire based on a recommendation from a family member or friend, or you found someone with excellent reviews, they will likely be excited about your business. 

If you’re looking to sell your Capitol Hill home, you can count on them to be able to provide you with knowledge and expertise on how to sell your house fast. They will have their trusted network of people they likely use over and over. From marketing to staging tips, they will know how to position your home in front of eager buyers. Dealing with Zillow, you don’t get any of these perks that come along with the personal touch of a real estate agent. 

Realtors will be more motivated to sell you home, as they are paid solely by commission. If you don’t find a buyer for your home or you don’t find a house you’re willing to put an offer on, they don’t get paid.  

There is a good reason why realtors have yet to be replaced by technology, and it’s because they offer a value that can’t be matched by technology. Zillow can’t recommend the best restaurant in the area you’re about to buy in, or which schools have the best reputation. Zillow can merely provide information for you to interpret on your own without the help of a professional. 

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Pass on Zillow

Pass on Zillow

It can be tempting to try out a company like Zillow, with all the claims they make, it seems that an online real estate transaction would be seamless and stress-free. In a perfect world, that might be true, but Zillow has too many glaring issues for it to be an ideal process just yet. Sticking with a traditional realtor will always be of benefit to you during buying or selling your Capitol Hill home. 

Reviews of Zillow reveal that it’s not quite there yet, and that frustrated clients would prefer the services of a traditional realtor. Realtors bring experience, customer service, and a personal touch that Zillow can’t quite emulate. Realtors shouldn’t fear being replaced by technology yet, as they bring too much value to the real estate game. 

Related: How Pricing Your Home Right Makes A Big Difference