Why is Zillow not up to date?

I can't tell you how many people have contacted me about a property they see on Zillow and it's either Under Agreement or has been sold.
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April 01 2011 - US
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Answers (3)

The internet has opened up so much opportunity for our changing business.  Zillow, like many websites with their inaccuracies allow us the opportunity to educate people. I love teaching :)
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April 01 2011
Robert,

I love getting these calls!  A few of them have converted to clients after a short dialog about service that I can provide.

I just had a listing that sold last fall reappear on Zillow.  It came back through a syndicaton partner.  I had to inform both companies that the house was no longer on the market.  had I not been paying close attention, it could have easily been out there for a lengthy time.

Enjoy the calls - they can lead to good business.  Also, they are an indication that something is going right with your marketing.  You are appearing on the list of agents and getting the calls to begin with.
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April 01 2011
Take it as an opportunity to confirm your value.
Zillow is an automated system so it is a perfect target for "garbage in, garbage out."
There are 2 primary difficulties that they deal with:
1.    County records are typically not searchable on a granular level.   For example you can't search by street number.  In order to overcome this there are a number of 3rd party vendors that take the county data and break it down into searchable fields for the entire real estate industry (insurance, title, appraisal, etc.).  Zillow is not an MLS member(it means they are not restricted by MLS rules) and therefore relies on these vendors for data.  How often do the vendors update?  How accurately do they update?  How often does Zillow pull from the vendors?  How accurate is that download?
2.    Many agents use 3rd party syndication websites.  Agents have to disengage those sites when the property has sold or they will continue to feed to Zillow.  sometimes, even when the sites are told to disengage, they run foul of their own techy issues and things continue to syndicate.  I've been working with CB national for about 2 months now and a property I sold on Feb 14th is still finding its way onto Zillow as For Sale.

Summary:
We add value to this industry, as agents.  Regardless of market conditions, Zestimates, Case-Schiller reports and a multitude of "rules-of-thumb" we have an opportunity to provide experience from the ground.  One analogy that I use is from aviation.  One experienced pilot that we all know lost all engines and landed his jet on the river to save all lives.  Another less experienced pilot lost all lives over the Atlantic by not taking the plane off of auto-pilot in the first 60 seconds of the air tubes freezing over.
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April 01 2011
 
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