Is a traditional realtor valuable enough to remain strong against the up and coming e-commerce real estate market? Companies like Zillow and Trulia are coming for the conventional realtor, offering an online real estate experience. Technology is a natural part of our lives now, and the real estate industry might be following the trends, but is it beneficial for customers? Should you use Zillow to buy or sell a home in Washington Park? Here’s why sticking with a traditional realtor is better than choosing an online company.
What is Zillow?
In Seattle in 2006, Zillow was born. Zillow is an online real estate company that is trying to change the game and be a more convenient option for home buyers and sellers. They claim to be able to take care of every aspect of the real estate process from listing your home to securing your next mortgage. They aim to be the primary and only resource you need in order to buy or sell a home in Washington Park. They even have rental properties listed for those looking to rent.
Zillow’s most well-known product is “Zestimates,” and that is their online appraisal process. Get your home appraised with the click of a button. Zillow aims to handle every part of the process in an efficient and timely manner.
How Does Zillow Make Money?
Zillow is able to keep the site free due to three main alternate streams of revenue. Advertising, iBuying, and the Premier Realtor Service.
Advertising might be Zillow’s most crucial part of their revenue makeup. The site is the ideal place for companies like mortgage brokers, banks, interior designers, home goods stores, construction companies, and renovation companies to advertise. Zillow’s audience is very targeted, and Zillow can provide a solid return on investment for these companies. Zillow also promotes among its many websites that include Trulia, AOL Real Estate, MSN Real Estate, Hot Pads, and MyNewPlace. These websites are well-known and likely to provide comparable traffic to the leading Zillow site.
The iBuying product is purchasing or selling a home all online. It’s an automated and straightforward process so that it can be more efficient than the alternative.
When realtors partner with Zillow, they become part of the Premier Realtor Service. This is a subscription-based service where realtors are then given proprietary information about leads, advertising opportunities, and they are suggested for clients to contact while browsing the site. When you are browsing Zillow and you request more information on a home or inform them that you are interested, your data gets sent to the premier realtors.
Which is Better: A Realtor or Zillow?
Zillow seems to make a lot of claims that would make them an excellent resource to buy or sell a home in Washington Park, but are they true? Do they live up to the hype? Hiring a traditional realtor is still the way to go when making the biggest purchase of your life.
First and foremost, Zillow’s listings aren’t always accurate. A significant critique of the site is that they promote many sold listings as being available, and users get frustrated by this. A realtor has access to the most current information about the market with access to the MLS. Zillow is just not diligent enough to be trusted as a resource for current listings.
Zillow is mostly just about data, and they aren’t concerned with providing a customer experience. They advertise themselves as a quick and easy, complete process, but there are many flaws with their platform and how it works. If you want to buy or sell a home in Washington Park, a realtor will provide you with so much added value, and you wouldn’t think twice about taking the online route. Many past customers of Zillow wish they had just gone the traditional route from the get-go.
Zillow’s main and most well-known product, “Zestimates,” is arguably the worst part. They are seldom correct, and how could they be? Zillow can’t provide an online estimate when they can’t see the homes’ condition. A realtor can either bring in an appraiser or put you in contact with a trusted professional who can give you a real estimate on your home.
Browsing Zillow will eventually lead you to give up your contact information if you want to continue looking at properties. Even if you’re not ready to purchase, you are considered a lead. You can see how this would be regarded as unreliable to the realtors who pay to get your information first hand. You could also be contacted by several realtors within a few hours once providing your information, which is offputting to most people.
If you are genuinely interested in viewing a property, you can request a showing. Still, you will be contacted by a premier realtor and not the listing agent. If you have questions about the property, they likely can’t answer them because they don’t know anything about the property, aside from the listing information.
The Benefits of a Traditional Realtor
There is no comparison; hiring a traditional realtor will beat out Zillow in every way. Zillow doesn’t deliver on their many promises, so if you want to buy or sell a home in Washington Park, a traditional realtor will provide you with a better experience every time.
A realtor is paid by commission, so they will be eager and ready to work for you. If you’re not happy, they don’t get paid, so they will aim to do a great job with every client.
It’s recommended that you find a realtor who is an expert in your desired Washington Park community, as they’ll be able to provide you the best experience. Whether you accept a referral from someone you know, or you find them and read all of their online reviews, this type of realtor will provide a lot of value.
If hiring a realtor who has a lot of experience is essential to you, or choosing someone you really get along with is important, you can meet with a few different realtors before you hire someone. With Zillow, your information is provided to who is available, so you get what you get.
All of the added stress that Zillow would cause you, by providing inaccurate information, wrong estimates and so forth, are all eliminated when you hire someone who can bring a personal touch to buying or selling a home in Washington Park.
Stick With a Realtor
Whether the real estate market is ready to be dominated by online brokerages like Zillow or not, the company makes too many claims they can’t deliver on, and their business model is not up to snuff. Your future or current Washington Park home deserves the attention of a traditional real estate agent.
When former Zillow users express that they wish they had chosen a realtor over the platform, you can imagine that regret that they feel. If Zillow lived up to the claims they make, it might work, but some things just aren’t the same when they become ingrained with technology, and real estate is one of them. Technology is a great tool that realtors can use to make the process easier for their clients, but it can’t replace them entirely.