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Zillow Buys Trulia

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In an unprecedented move, infamous house hunting website Zillow has purchased just-about-as-infamous house hunting website Trulia in a $3.5 billion stock deal.

While the two websites will stay up and both brands will maintain their separate identities, what does this mean for those online searches for houses you’d like to buy?

Honestly, I don’t think it will mean much of anything. Both Zillow and Trulia are a bit of fact and a bit of fiction. While handy for getting a scope of an area, the sites' information is not verified, it is not always accurate, and it is sometimes not even true. Anyone can put up a house for sale - give it a try yourself! (Actually, please don’t. I don’t need clients calling me to see your house and then being disappointed that it’s not on the market.)

While I’m an advocate of using online tools to empower yourself, the best bet for a smooth transaction when buying property is to use a Realtor. This isn’t a plug for my business; it’s a call to use resources wisely. Realtors pay membership for a system called the MLS, which is where they post houses that are (legitimately) for sale. Through this database, we can find clients a home in a particular price range, in a particular neighborhood, with the criteria you want - X–number bedrooms, in-law suites, a pool, a yard for Fido, and so on.

While DIY is an emerging trend, it’s not applicable to buying and selling houses. For that, bring in a professional. We Realtors work hard, don’t cost buyers a dime in Florida, and we have exclusive resources, relationships and market knowledge that doesn’t exist online.