You made a wise choice by coming to this site to search for your new home. By clicking on the link above you will be connected directly to the local MLS database. This is the most accurate and up to date data source for homes for sale in the area.
Sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com are known to show homes which have an accepted offer or have been taken off the market as Active listings. Why, because they sell leads to agents. While these site offer useful information about buying, selling, mortgage loans, home design, etc., below are the top 3 reasons why these sites are not a good place to conduct your home search.
- While these sites pretend to be a source of information for buyers, these sites exist primarily to make a profit. While these sites are free for consumers to use, these sites profit from selling services to those in the real estate industry. I’ll explain how they make money below.
- When you click on the “Request Info”, “Contact Agent,” or a “Request More Details” button, chances are you are not contacting the listing agent for that property. Instead, you will be contacted by an agent who is paying the website a monthly fee for leads. The website sells your contact information to these agents, and these agents hope to convert you into a customer. For a price, these sites allow agents to have their contact information displayed next to their listings. Yes, they make agents pay to get leads on their own listings. As of April 2015, Zillow had an estimated 60,000 agents paying for leads. Do you really want to be represented by an agent that was picked on a rotational draw by a third party provider who is paid by these agents to be included in this blind draw? This is not a good way to pick a professional service provider. I’m pretty sure this is not how you would pick a doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc.
- The property may no longer be available. While these sites pull listing information directly from the MLS, they are known to continue to show listings which have accepted offers. Why? So they can sell the lead. Most of these sites promise agents a certain number of leads per month. The more listings on their site, the greater chance you will ask for more information which will allow them to sell your contact information.
If you really want to contact the listing agent directly, the only way you can do that for sure is to drive by the home and call the name on the yard sign. But many of these sites won’t show you the address. There is a reason for this. You guessed it, so you will click for more information and they can sell your contact information.