Zillow’s a bit of a pain in the neck for me.

It’s not uncommon for a buyer client to call and say “I found this home on Zillow, it wasn’t in the homes you’ve been sending me but I’d like to see it.” I don’t like this call because my client may think that I’m playing games with them somehow and not sending them all of the homes listed for sale that meet their criteria.

So I research it, call back and explain that the home they saw on Zillow already has a contract on it.

I’m only sending them homes that do not already have contracts on them. If they would like to see homes that already have contracts on them, I would be happy to set that up for them. I just want to make sure that they are really considering making backup offers on homes that already have contracts on them. I’ve never personally had a client who wanted to make back up offers on Phoenix homes that are already under contract to buyers.

Two weeks later the same client calls, “I found this home on Zillow that wasn’t in the homes you’ve been sending me and I would like to see it.” [Sigh…]

Chasing Zillow Unicorns

Now a San Diego Realtor did all the hard work to crunch the numbers and, boy oh boy, I can really see why my clients get confused when they browse Zillow to find Phoenix homes for sale.

On a morning when the Sandicor Multiple Listing Service (MLS) showed 48 detached homes for sale in the 92131 Zip code, Zillow showed (drum roll) 224! In their defense, that’s only off by 367%.

There’s no need to browse Zillow to see homes listed for sale in Phoenix. The data on my websites and other Phoenix Realtor websites comes directly from the MLS and it’s phenomenally more accurate than Zillow.

I show pretty much all the homes listed for sale on all of my websites.

Buying a home is a complex experience as it is, you’ll have a much more pleasant buying experience if you don’t waste your time and energy chasing Zillow unicorns.

ADDED: Here’s a later post I did about the accuracy of Zillow Phoenix home value estimates.

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