Friends of The MORENO Group,

A few months ago, Christina and I joined Zillow’s Premier Agent Program and it has led to meeting some great clients; but it has come with some challenges. Zillow is a massive tool for the public and if you’re a smart business owner you go where your audience goes. Zillow is great for providing homeowners or homebuyers with information on homes, but the difficulty comes when you find out the accuracy of the information. Even Zillow admits that in many housing markets, the information they are receiving is lacking but this doesn’t stop them from associating a Zestimate to as many properties as they can. For the Kansas City housing market, Zillow gives themselves a 1 out of 4 stars. This means Zillow is only receiving tax assessments on properties. They are not receiving data on recent sales, and many times Zillow is still showing homes for sale that have sold weeks, months, and sometimes years earlier. [The attachment below shows Zillow’s own page on their web site addressing their accuracy in the KC housing market.]

Zestimates in KC

What Zillow lacks in housing market information is what we as agents can provide. We can review the homes that have sold in the neighborhood in the last 3-6 months. We can show you why new construction in a neighborhood might be $50,000-$100,000 more than homes built there 3 years ago. We can see what a homeowner paid for their home, whether it was 2 years ago or 10 years ago. We can tell you whether a home has gone under contract in the past months and then come back on the market and possibly find out why. These are the capabilities a professional agent provides their client, along with assisting them through the entire process (showings, appropriate lenders, offers, negotiations, inspections, resolution, appraisal, final walk thru, and closing). A truly professional agent brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to their clients.

One area where Zillow is more accurate is with regard to For Sale By Owner (FSBO) homes. We real estate agents do not see those properties through the MLS. If you’re interested in previewing a FSBO, we can make that happen; however it does require some additional coordination between us and the homeowner.

I hope this is useful information, and I would be glad to address any of your questions.

Thanks, and happy house hunting…or selling.

Jim