As a mostly-inclusive, online real estate search engine, Zillow offers users more information than most real estate web searches. Not only does it incorporate the active listings on the MLS, but also simultaneously shows pre-inventory data.
This pre-inventory is information on mortgages that are in default, or have been to foreclosure auction, and may be becoming available for sale soon. It also has a function for homeowners to list their home for sale without enlisting the services of a Realtor and gaining an audience by doing so.
Users can request information on a home directly from the listing agent in many cases and see a good amount of information on that home, the neighborhood, the other recent sales nearby, the schools, parks, amenities, transportation and property taxes.
One lesson I learned in my elementary education was to always consider the source when reviewing information. It is important to know where the information is coming from, who puts it there, and if it is accurate.
Over the years I have noticed accuracy issues with some of the data, the Zillow Zestimate tool, and foreclosure actions specifically. The last few months I have been searching for another investment property opportunity in my neighborhood, and in comparing Zillow foreclosure data with Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department data I have noticed discrepancies.
My advice – start a search with Zillow to get information, but rely on a licensed Realtor when buying or selling a home. I’m excited to see this tool grow, and the monitoring they have in place on their real estate forums is great, and the service they provide in connecting home buyers with professionals is unparalleled in our industry.
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