Not All Home Searches Are Created Equal

In a recent post we talked about the home values at some on some of the larger sites like Zillow and Trulia may not accurate. Not all home searches are created equal

Well the same is true about home searches there are about a million places online where you can search homes for sale in Knoxville.  But not all home searches are created equal.  Let’s discuss.

The granddaddy of home search is via the MLS.  An MLS is just a place where agents share listings with each other, to provide better exposure for those listings, and if one of those agents produces a buyer for the listing, we offer them compensation.  That’s what the MLS is for – offers of cooperation and compensation among agents.

This is where syndication comes in, so that agents and brokers can provide a better home search experience.  If you agree to follow some rules, you can get a feed of the MLS data and hire someone to make a home search for you.  There are companies that do this across the nation.  I’ve selected the provider I think fits best into my site, and has some pretty cool features that make home searching a little bit easier.

My Knoxville Home Search is here. Now All the homes you see in my search – in pretty much every agent and broker’s home search – comes directly from the MLS.  They have the same information, the same homes, just presented differently.  And that data gets updated usually daily

And then you have the national home search providers – the zillows and trulias and realtor.coms.  These people get their data in different ways.  Realtor.com gets their data from MLSes.  Zillow relies on agents and brokers to give them homes for sale, and Trulia is a mix of the two.

You’ll notice that on places like Realtor.com, you can search for a cul-de-sac or corner lot in Knoxville.  Except you really can’t, because those fields don’t exist in the original data – the data from the MLS.  So you can try to search with those parameters and you end up with no results.

And then you’ll find on places like Trulia and Zillow that homes are listed for sale in there at either wrong prices or that are no longer for sale because the agent never went back and remembered to update their listing after a price change or after the sale closed.

So with national portals, your data quality is generally worse, but they can include some other handy features about neighborhoods or market information.  I mean, I do that too, I just don’t have millions to build the slick interface.

What do you think?  Need some help call me 865-696-9002 or email me Rick@TheBigOrangePress.com