With the advancements of technology, sellers and homebuyers become savvier. This is because of companies like Zillow vs Redfin vs Trulia. These online real estate information companies have changed how home buying and selling happen.
I was wondering which online real estate company was the best, most accurate, and had the best information. After personally using each one of these real estate companies, I find that I always prefer Zillow over Redfin and Trulia. Even though the information is not 100% accurate, Zillow seems to be the best for my real estate investing business.
Home value estimators and online tools have become a first stop in the journey to sell or buy a home.
Enter Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia. These are the main players in the real estate online space.
While there are some platforms you can choose from, there digital leaders that stand out in the real estate world and these include Zillow vs Redfin vs Trulia.
What is Zillow?
The name of Zillow Group stems from its primary goal, which is to provide the users with zillions of data.
The company succeeded and it is now renowned for Zentimates, which are the estimates of home values that are algorithmically generated and based on countless data.
The estimates from Zillow are very famous among sellers and buyers as they give a general idea of the market value of a home. But, the estimates look only at some factors and aren’t always accurate.
As a matter of fact, the company was sued for Zentimates’ inaccuracy and other real estate agents said that the public must think of them as nothing more than just entertainment.
Zillow attempts to provide you a clue of what cost of living in every house monthly could be through breaking down the estimate to mortgage payments, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, and taxes.
It provides potential homeowners with a realistic idea of how important budgeting is for a new home.
Be Careful With Online Estimates
Even if it is a useful tool, people who want to buy a house must not give it too much credence due to the inaccuracy of Zentimates it based on. It must not be taken as an appraiser’s substitute.
If you are purchasing a house, you may use try using Zillow to look for the best real estate agents around your area or where you wish to move.
Such agents operate at an average commission rate of 6 percent of the sales price.
3% goes to the listing agent and 3% goes to the sellers agent.
The huge number of outdated listings on the website of Zillow is another downside. Once you compare Zillow to some listing services, you will soon find that a lot of homes listed on Zillow are under contract or sold already.
Users frequently find that they will send their agents the links to the properties they like to see only to find out that the property isn’t available anymore.
How to Use Zillow to Find Investment Properties
Finding investment properties is the best when it comes to Zillow. I personally use Zillow to find rental properties and show how I do it here.
What is Trulia?
Trulia is also one of the real estate marketplaces like Zillow and Redfin. Also owned by the Zillow Group.
Trulia has its own proprietary estimation tool that attempts to break down the cost of buying a home in a more digestible payment monthly. It sets apart from other platforms due to its wealth of data.
What makes Trulia different is that it displays on the map of every surrounding area of a home.
When you are searching for a home at Trulia, you will see the recent sales, crime rates, local schools, options for public transportation, and some useful data points around the area.
Location is also essential.
Basically, Trulia capitalizes on the location and makes it possible for them to get more information about the area without the need to visit the place in person.
A map that is filled with data doesn’t substitute your visit in the neighborhood, but it will give you some ideas about the areas that will not be perfect for your needs.
It may also save you from the hassles of going to the showing only to discover the nearest store is just twenty minutes away, no train stops nearby, and a neighborhood with high crime rates.
What is Redfin?
Redfin is a huge real estate company online that aims to redesign the way people purchase homes. It provides some benefits, making it a great alternative to Trulia and Zillow.
First and foremost, the website is a bit similar to Trulia and Zillow, wherein users may look for the properties through the map-based function.
After searching the site with a zip code or city Redfin will display:
- housing data
- year built
- square footage
- home appreciation
- home value
- and some other data points that home buyers would want to know
Users can also find their favorite units through a side-by-side comparison.
The second thing that makes Redfin a good platform is that it has additional features that Trulia and Zillow don’t have. It has real estate agents who are all rated by the users of Redfin.
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The compensation of real estate agents is correlated directly to the ratings they get.
To help the interested homebuyers, Redfin also rebates part of the commission of the real estate back to the home buyer.
But, if there is one thing that you should be aware of, it is the fact that Redfin doesn’t disclose the exact addresses in some cities if the sellers don’t want to.
The site doesn’t provide data for home value automatically if the listing agent doesn’t want it to be displayed. In several cities, Redfin provides complete listing and sales data automatically.
While its full data might not be present always, Redfin integrates with MLS or multiple listing service and has several houses listed within fifteen minutes of the unit that goes in MLS.
Which Real Estate Site is the Most Accurate?
To determine the final price of a home, you should not just consider using a single tool or an end-all to value.
It’s a starting point and you must not consider it as a substitute for in-person expertise of real estate agents or professional appraisers. It should be based on the information that they know currently in their analytics.
Even if Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia have amazing tools for both sellers and home buyers, the price estimator must be used with caution. The accuracy of such real estate websites depends on some factors like the algorithm used.
Although they are relatively accurate, having more information is better than just depending on what they provide.
You should still consult professionals in the real estate industry for you to get more accurate information and use what the real estate websites provided as your basis when finalizing your decision.
Asking around can also be of great help.
What is Zillow Make Me Move?
Zillow Make Me Move is a free listing option. Maybe you are still undecided about whether you will sell your home or not.
Your partner doesn’t agree just yet or maybe you are worried that there won’t be interested buyers willing to pay the price you want.
Zillow Make Me Move is a tool that will help you gauge the level of interest of potential buyers in your property. Sellers can have their home listed as potentially available.
This gives buyers the chance to get in touch with the seller and ask some questions.
Once you know how much people are willing to pay for your home, you can choose to proceed to sell it.
What are the Other Online Home Listing Sites Like Trulia and Zillow?
Aside from Trulia and Zillow, there are other home listing sites you can find online.
Foreclosures are great deals because banks are willing to sell the properties they foreclose on for a discount to get their money back.
Banks are in the business of lending money, not owning properties. So, they reposes the property and then sell it on places like Foreclosure.com where you can get a great discount on the value of the home.
It is an online real estate site under the ownership of News Corp.
Despite the availability of current information and details, Realtor.com has a more basic platform that lacks the robust features you can find in Trulia, Zillow, and other similar companies.
The upside is that this is connected to MLS that contains the market’s most current listings. This makes the site a good place to get started with your house hunting.
There is also a new texting option that lets you connect to real estate experts and a price feature to check how certain features of a home affect its cost.
This site offers users with helpful information about US neighborhoods. The user only needs to search by a specific address or city.
After entering the search criteria, NeighborhoodScout will provide average values of properties, demographic data, details about local schools, traffic data, crime rates, and more.
This is an online home listing site that includes several features like a robust quantity of property information and intuitive search function based on maps. Similar to Trulia and Zillow, the real estate browse function of Homesnap is also easy and simple to use.
What is Redfin Estimate?
Redfin Estimate is announced by the company as a counterpart to Zillow’s Zestimate.
Just like Zestimate, Redfin Estimate is a type of automated home-value estimate displayed on the home listing pages in Redfin, including those off the market and those for sale.
Every time you view properties on Redfin, this will get listed under the list price of homes currently on the market and beside the last-sold price of properties not on the market.
What is Zestimate?
According to Zillow, Zestimate is a property’s estimated market value.
When you say estimated, it refers to the assigned value of the home with the use of proprietary computer algorithms created by statisticians.
Zestimate is also considered as a good starting point to determine the value of a property that should always be considered when browsing Zillow.
Data is used to compute a Zestimate instead of vision, interaction, or human touch.
How Do I Find Cheap Homes for Sale?
It isn’t easy to find a good bargain even amidst a slow market. But there are a few tips you can use to find cheap homes for sale:
Check MLS reports to know the length of time that the property is listed.
You have to remember that the property could have been listed again after the expiration of the original MLS contract.
It means that the property might have been listed longer than what is indicated in the MLS listing. Check the figures for PMP or property marketing period and CDOM or continuous days on market.
It will tell you the number of days that passed after the property got listed. The seller of a house listed for a longer time is usually more willing to accept a lower price.
Canvas Neighborhoods with Properties In Your Business Model
It calls for some nerves and this is something you shouldn’t do alone.
However, if there is a house that seems like it needs some help, knock on its door and ask the owner if he or she is interested to sell it.
The chances might not be too great but once you find an owner willing to sell yet doesn’t have the time to prepare the property and sell it off, you can reach a good deal.
Ask around with the people living in the area
Is there a neighborhood that caught your interest while driving through or walking around? By all means, ask the residents if they know someone planning to sell their home.
If there is someone preparing to list their house, you can work out a good deal with the seller directly with no need to worry about seller or buyer agent commissions.
Consider more affordable types of housing
Some condominiums might be offering great deals right now. Try to ask upfront questions about the property rules.
If you are on a tight budget and you want to live out of town, mobile homes can also be considered.
Check cheaper surrounding towns and cities
There are areas where you can save lots of money if you just look 30 minutes outside the central city.
You can also consider cities affected by the housing crash.
Watch out for short sales
These are not a good idea for people who are in a hurry as these require the approval of the bank holding the lien.
However, if you are willing to wait for the approval of the bank, a terrific deal might just come your way.
Since owners are still living in properties open for short sales, there is a lesser chance that they will trash the property before they leave.
Look at foreclosures
Although there are owners of foreclosed homes who trash the property before they exit, not all are the same.
Banks have a list of foreclosed homes they are willing to let go and you can help them do this for an affordable price.
What is the Most Accurate Site for Home Values?
Zillow is the top choice of most home sellers and buyers alike.
This is among the largest and most famous websites right now that is also popular for being very user-friendly.
Zillow’s Zestimate tool gets updated every day based on millions of user-submitted and public data points.
Although Zillow doesn’t claim to be 100% or even 80% accurate, the platform is still considered to be the most accurate site you can use today to determine home values.
Zillow vs Redfin vs Trulia | Which is the Best All Around Real Estate Site?
After all my looking at each of these companies, I have found Zillow to be the best combination of all the benefits to these companies.
Even with the flaws it may have, a good investor will know how to use the information from Zillow and make the best decision.
I personally use the Zillow information to get a good understanding of the properties. Then, I verify all the information from Zillow with my realtors, property mangers, instpectors, etc.
This is why you want to build your business first, then buy the property.
Because I know how to invest in real estate the right way, I always make the best decisions with the information from Zillow vs Redfin vs Trulia.
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