You’re not really in the market for a home if you haven’t looked for said home on Zillow. You may have also used Redfin, Realtor.com, and others. They’re all the same, mostly, and they’re all really good at one particular thing. If you’d like the know the asking price of a specific property, and you’d also like to see the photos of that property, you’re in luck. Zillow is really good at that. They’ll happily help. But they’re also really good at telling you the price of a particular home. If you’re in front of a home and you see the sign and you don’t want to call the Realtor, Zillow can help. Just open the app and voila! The price. Also, if you’re wondering about the price of a home, and don’t know it, Zillow will help!
The redundancy is intentional. But Zillow will go one step farther in attempting to help you with your search and they’ll slap a valuation on the home that you’re considering. If the home sold last year, Zillow will know that price and they’ll adjust the price up or down depending on the performance of that particular market. If the home sold recently, it’ll be a decent guess. If your grandmother bought her home in 1978 and it hasn’t been on the market since, and it’s in the country and not in a Phoenix neighborhood where everyone has rock yards, then Zillow is still going to guess, but it’s going to be a pretty terrible effort. If we’re going to give credit to Zillow and friends for what they do well (state known list prices and publish photos), then we should recognize what they do poorly (everything else).
But does Zillow know about my new pending contract on 250 Circle Parkway? A quick search reveals that they do not. We could give them a pass for not knowing, since the market only knew about this last Friday. They probably know about my pending sale at W4396 Basswood ($8.495MM), but do they know that there is back up interest and that the back up interest will likely lead to a sale of another legacy home similar to Basswood? Does Zillow know about my listing in Glenwood Springs for $2.075MM? Do you? Does Zillow know about the pending spec home in The Lindens? Or about the contested DOJ seizure on the North Shore? Do they know that, in spite of a vibrant summer market, buyers will still be able to find value in the aged inventory?
The answer to all of those questions is no. Zillow doesn’t know. Zillow can’t know. And the question today is why you’d consider letting your Lake Geneva vacation home search teeter on the whims of what Zillow doesn’t know. If you’re ready to know more about this market, I’m here to help.