The Pitfalls of Using Zillow

Zillow is reporting increases in visits to their website and is spending a lot of money advertising to the general public.  This is causing a lot of misperceptions about what Zillow is, and what they do.

Here's what Zillow is:  they are a self-described media site.  This means they are in business for the sole purpose of attracting a lot of visitors to their website.  They sell advertising and set their ad rates based on the number of website visitors.

Here's what Zillow is not:  Zillow is not a licensed real estate broker.  Zillow cannot sell you a home.  You cannot complete a real estate transaction on Zillow's website.

There are implications for home buyers and sellers who use Zillow on their own, without employing the services of a local Realtor.

Zillow zestimates are as likely to be too high, as they are too low.  If you are a home buyer making an offer without a Realtor, using a high zestimate can result in the home you are buying with a mortgage not appraising for the negotiated price.  You'll have to back out of your contract.  As a seller, if you list your home for sale by owner on Zillow's site, you run the risk of pricing your home too low if you rely on Zillow zestimates for your asking price.

Real estate in today's market is simply too complicated to go it alone without the assistance of a local Realtor.  Use Zillow with a grain of salt.  Read more on my website:!debunking-zillow-sarasota/cftb


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