I recently sold a luxury property at a La Quinta golf club. About 90-days later Zillow™ displays the property sale on their real estate website as being sold for $675,000. 

Actual screen shot from ZillowWhat Zillow doesn't mention is that in addition to their stated $674,000 selling price, the buyer also traded personal property in addition to cash, which in this case was a late model Rolls Royce (new value: $375,000). Bottom line here is the reported selling price was understated by a large amount.

La Quinta Home Sale Price Off By $115,000

Another luxury golf course property I sold shows sold at $1.1 million on Home-Gain™. This sale price actually also included a golf course membership valued at $115,000. In this case the property was over-valued by $115,000 as the buyer got a free golf membership. Deduct the country club membership and the home sale price was actually $985,000.

I’ve seen $300,000 condo sales where trulia’s sale amount was off by $50,000 and I’ve seen $9 million homes where Zillow is off by $2 million because they simply don’t have all the information.

Public Records, Not The Live MLS Agents Use

Most people don’t know that Zillow, trulia™, Home-Gain and other shopping sites get their information from available public records and not the local MLS.  Most of these sale records don’t show up for 90-days or more after the sale. But the worst part is these sites do not have access to the whole story. Only local agents with access to the agent side of the MLS have ability to do some detective work, which includes speaking to the selling agent.

For home buyers, these sites use dated listings instead of live MLS feeds. I receive calls everyday from buyers looking at homes online that actually sold 60-days ago. Home sellers too can be misled on the value of their properties.

A local licensed real estate agent has access to all the information and resources needed to give buyers and sellers accurate and timely information. A local agent site (including ours) will also usually feature live MLS listings.

Could it be that Zillow’s tag line of “Your Edge In Real Estate” needs a little sharpening?