Profile picture for katbarcenas

shame shame shame

I find that houses that are listed on Zillow are basically bait houses to call agents who are trying to drum up business. If I like a house I call and told that that house is already committed. Translation we don't really have the house and there fore want to stick the customer for something less than advertised. I will continue to drive through neigborhoods looking for houses managed by owners as I find realty companies tend to be what I refer to as corporate lazy. No pride in providing the best possible service.
  • October 10 2013 - Las Vegas
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Answers (9)

It does happen and it's very frustrating!  If I were you I would connect with a Realtor who has access to the MLS in your area...it's the best way to get the best service.  Your Realtor will update you each day with new listings, price changes and homes that have gone under contract.  Good luck!
  • October 10 2013
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Profile picture for Neeraj Jassal
While that may be your (unfortunate) experience thus far, katbarcenas, your assessment of the inventory on Zillow is inaccurate.

Please keep in mind that Zillow maintains not just properties on the MLS, but also For Sale By Owner properties as well as Make Me Move properties, which are designed to be offered as "pre-market".  Additionally, listings are propagated from many other ancillary sites that might not reflect a change in status properly.  Further, it is entirely possible that the MLS system and Zillow are also not changing status in a seamless way.
  • October 10 2013
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
So as I always say, when YOU get serious about buying go find a Realtor to work with rather than playing around online looking at free online sites that are out of date. It's not that agents are doing this on purpose, the online sites don't get updated or they find listings themselves and the agents don't even know where they are being shown sometimes. I, for example, add a new listing to my local MLS. In a couple days it is on 100+  sites on the Internet. I didn't put them there, the site get sent them or finds them from other sites so when it is sold I change the MLS listing and never go to those 100+ internet sites because, for one, I have no idea where they are, and two, I never put it there to begin with.

So when you are done playing computer shopper, go find a Realtor that can send you real listings on a timely basis.


tim
  • October 10 2013
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Hello Katbarcenas,

The word of the day is "Aggregate".  It means that basically someone like Zillow reaches out to a database (in this case Realtor.com), mines that information, and then list those homes on their site.  The problem is one of nuance, but it can be frustrating to someone like yourself who just wants to know what is available to buy NOW.  

So, here is the reason you may be finding properties that appear to be "Bait and switch" homes.  First, let me say that I cannot just put a home on Zillow that does not exist on the "Multiple Listing Service" (MLS).  The problem deals with the "Status" of the property.  If a home is an "Exclusive right to sell" (ER), or Exclusive Agency" (EA), it is considered available to buy.  If a home is "Pending" (P), it will not show up on any database as available for sale, unless that database is not updated in real time.  Most sites - like Zillow - are updated in real time, which in Zillow's case is probably once or twice a day (still too slow for this market).  There is one other status however which is problematic.  it is called "Contingent" (C) status.  If a property is in escrow "Contingent" upon short sale approval, or if the Listing Agent decides to put it in "C" status because of inspection contingencies (this is not usually done, but does happen), it still shows up as available, because technically, you could make an offer on the home, and the Seller accept it.  The truth is, no agent will show a home that is in "Contingent" status because in order for the Seller to accept another deal, the first contract has to be negated, which is very difficult to do, and a Seller who tries to cancel a contract with a buyer is subject to being sued for breach (if the Buyer doesn't agree.  Because we have had so many Short Sales in the last several months, we see a lot more "C" status properties, which means they show up on sites like Zillow.  

The other problem which I alluded to and is incredibly frustrating for you and me both is that when a home comes on the market, it can receive several offers literally within minutes of hitting the market.  Which means that by the time Zillow aggregates the info, it is already gone.

Now, for a solution.  When I get a client like yourself, I find out what their criteria is (price, area, size, bedrooms, etc.) and then I set up what I call a "Searchbot" which goes out and queries the MLS every 15 minutes and sends you the results of that search.  What this means to you is that within 15 minutes of a home hitting the market (or a price reduction), you get an email with details about that home.  In my mind, it doesn't get any better or faster than that.

Quite frankly, driving around and looking for signs in this market is like shooting a shotgun into the air and hoping a duck flies through it.  You have to hope that the sign is going  up as you drive up to the property.  The truth is that by the time I get my sign in the yard, the home is often already in negotiation or in escrow.

Sorry you have had a bad experience with "Corporate lazy" people in your hunt.  You may have just talked to the wrong person, or haven't given your trust to one person with whom you feel confidence.  Try again.

The good news is that the market is stabilizing with school now in session and for the Holidays, inventory has doubled, so the selection is better and the competition is less.

Best wishes, and thanks for reading.
  • October 10 2013
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Profile picture for SteadyState
Don't you love it when Realtor's(R) refuse to condemn and police underhanded business practices by other Realtors. But the poster is at fault for not going through the "right channels", not being serious about buying a home, or not home hunting without a buyers agent.
The Blue wall of silence has nothing on the Red wall of silence.
  • October 10 2013
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
Very strange... the Realtors posting on the thread appear to not be reading again...  Posted in "FINDING A RENTAL" category, and the original post specifically states "committed" and "managed"... thus clear the poster is not looking for a buyer's agent nor a house to buy.

Most available rental listings never make it to the Multiple Listings, and most owners and managers are not willing to pay agent fees.

Looking up some of the larger management companies in the area and contacting them directly about what they have presently available is likely to be a much more efficient method.  And rentals posted on Craigs list or sites like this by the owner?  A high probability of scams, so they need to be screened very carefully.

Zillow drops off rental listings within 30 days of posting if not renewed, so they shouldn't be too stale.  But setting up a "saved search" to get E-mail notifications of new listings that meet the criterion is likely the best way to make a contact before someone else rents the unit.

Remember the best rental opportunities are often not advertised, but only "word of mouth", or in some cases postings on bulletin boards or similar of local churches, clubs, schools, laundromats, etc.
  • October 10 2013
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Profile picture for hpvanc
I agree both the category and content of the post state this is about rentals. I also suspect listings advertised by most individual "mom and pop" landlords will tend to be the most up to date and accurate regardless of where potential tenants are viewing them. I think the issue in the OP's case is probably more about property management company listings and large SFR holding companies not keeping their listings up to date on all sites, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Unfortunately much of the same is true of for sale listings by agents, and agents don't want to and in some cases have rules preventing the sharing of information to all advertising venues used in a timely manner. If an agent is intentionally participating in a delay, or unintentionally failing to understand how listing syndication works, they aren't making there best impression with with consumers and are not presenting the best impression of a sellers property. Yet they still wonder why so many consumers don't like, trust or respect them, and lash out at "call an agent" suggestions. Go figure.
  • October 10 2013
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Profile picture for house4rentlv
You are correct - it is better to find a rental posted by an owner or landlord.
  • December 23 2013
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Profile picture for Rebecca Marvel
You paint with a broad brush.  You have yet to find an agent who plays by the rules.  Perhaps that's why I live in a tiny house and drive a Honda....
  • December 23 2013
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