Zillow is God’s gift to the general public and has made it so everyone has access to the latest listings, right? The truth is, finding homes online is the easiest part of a Realtor’s job for their clients. A Realtor’s true value is in how well they protect you and your money. If there’s a pulse, anyone can type in their search criteria, and poof…hundreds of homes appear in seconds.
Where the road ends with Zillow
1. So you see a Perfect 10 on Zillow…what happens next? Have you ever tried calling the listing agent asking to see their listing? Zillow makes it’s money by selling ad space next to each listing, so there is a huge chance the agent you’re calling or emailing is NOT the real Listing Agent! There is no way they can answer your questions, because they have likely never seen the home. Now, if you have a dedicated Buyer’s Agent, it’s free (no brainer), but they also represent you…not the seller. The Wistrick Team has the ability to access EVERY home through a Supra lockbox and real-time MLS systems, so your time can be maximized by seeing several homes at once vs “one-offs.” Many listings on Zillow have expired or sold months ago, so you could be seeing old data.
2. TIME TO RUN THE OTHER DIRECTION? Zillow won’t tell you a home backs up to high-voltage power lines or a busy highway, because they don’t personally care. The Wistrick Team has the ability to obtain Sellers Disclosures, HOA information, tax data, comps, etc. That level of information makes our clients the smartest people in the transaction and helps guide them to an informed decision, not an impulsive one.
3. Did you know that 99.9% of real estate sales never go exactly as planned? Why? Because human emotions are involved, getting a loan is like scaling Mt Everest, and every home has issues. Think of it this way…when buying or selling, you are messing with money, family, and personal privacy all at the same time. With those ingredients, you are almost guaranteed to see the emotions come out!
So what happens, for example, when a first-time homebuyer gets hit with a $10,600 sewer connection as a required part of the purchase by FHA? Who pays for that? The buyer doesn’t have that much money. The seller doesn’t want to cover it! Oh by the way, it’s an Estate Sale, so we are negotiating against an entire family on the selling side. Talk about a lot of moving parts and emotion. True story, this just happened to one of our clients. This is where our contract and negotiation expertise becomes vital, not a “nice to have,” during a real estate transaction. Instantly our clients look to the professionals to help guide them through what would have normally costed almost $11K (plus their downpayment and almost $800 in loan extensions). We were able to negotiate the deal so our client was fully protected and they got their dream home!
Knowing all the components of a real estate transaction is the most important part of a Realtor’s job. Here at The Wistrick Team, we spend countless hours each day walking our clients through the pitfalls and steering them away from avoidable catastrophes. So while sites like Zillow may be fun to play around on when home searching, it’s not wise to dive into the buying process without a pro on your side. Ask yourself, how often do you make $200,000+ purchases or investments? Would you trust a rookie or inexperienced broker to handle that much of your money? Likely not, so why risk it when it comes to a home?
If you’re looking for more information about our process, don’t hesitate to give us a call! 404.932.5564