We’ve received yet another seller complaint that their Mansfield Storrs area listing is not appearing on Zillow and/or it is appearing with inaccurate information. Realtor organizations, posts and blogs tell us to play nice with Zillow and not complain to our clients about its accuracy or monopolistic takeover of our MLS listing data—so I won’t. But sellers, please don’t blame us when things go bad on Zillow.
As a seller you may not know that if your agent is not paying Zillow a monthly fee to purchase leads in specific zip codes that a representative from Zillow will not speak to them. You can send in a help request via email but it is often ignored or responded to several days later, well after you have gone off the rails because your client is nearly hysterical about their home not appearing. Many agents, out of frustration, call the sales line, conspicuously labeled the “Become a Premiere Agent” line and have been told that unless they are intent on signing up to purchase leads, the conversation will have to end there. Zillow is not willing to correct their inaccuracies without a paying agent at the other end of the receiver. Let me be clear: In Zillow-language “Premier Agent” means Paying Agent not Better Agent. And I say this as a “Premier Agent”—I am paying them several hundred dollars a month for leads that I pass on to agents at Home Selling Team who are looking to increase their business.
If Zillow is displaying incorrect information or no information about your listing, you can create an account at Zillow as the property owner and claim your listing, where you can make changes and updates. However, be forewarned that it does not always work out as planned—I once established an account for a client who was not computer savvy and I made corrections in the data (which clearly would have added value) and the new “Zestimate” dropped by almost $9,000! In addition, the comparable properties were address-related so there was a mobile home park and random foreclosures in the comparable sales which further deflated the value. The house ultimately sold for much more than the “Zestimate.”
On a more productive note, we recently completed a HSTimate in Storrs with 11 of us in tow. We were able to provide the seller with an as-is price range and a suggested list price if the seller was willing to complete the suggested list of repairs and improvements that the 11 of us suggested. Once we’ve completed our appointment, the seller receives a report with the prices, suggested minor and major updates, comments and observations about the neighborhood and special features of the home. One agent is assigned to follow up and list the property for sale once the seller is ready. We have found that an algorithm can be insufficient in obtaining a true value without a visual inspection and assessment of the neighboring homes. Interested? Contact us and we’d be happy to add your home to our next HSTimate trip.
Did I hear that Amazon is contemplating entry into the real estate sales business? Wow- I can’t wait to see what they offer Prime Members—I mean Paying Members.