Zillow and Trulia are two very popular search sites for real estate. How do they differ from using a Boulder based Realtor? In every way. I say that, knowing that I also market to buyers on Zillow and Trulia as well as Realtor.com.
Where to start? With the houses of course. As a Boulder based Realtor, I have direct access to the Multiple Listing Service, sometimes known as the MLS. This is a clearing house site where all available homes are shown in one place. The list includes all phases of a listing: Available, Under Contract, Sale Pending, Sold and for those that do not sell, Withdrawn and Expired. Trulia and Zillow do not show when properties have gone under contract. You can spend hours on those sites researching the perfect home, only to discover it is already purchased by someone else.
Another key difference is the sold data. Zillow will commonly show refinance information in a way that looks like sold data. Buyers want to know the difference. That is, a house that just sold has usually had four unique parties look at the value: the listing agent, the selling agent, the lender and the buyer’s appraiser. A refinance only has one individual look at value – Lender’s appraiser. If the house does not appraise, there is no refinance and the lender does not get paid. Refinances almost always appraise. The same is not true of homes being sold. The last few years it has been very common for appraisers to have issues with value.
For a buyer or seller, you want to know the latest and most correct housing data to make an informed decision. The MLS data therefore focuses on sold data to be the most informative. The MLS also has more properties listed than commercial sites like Realtor.com or Trulia. This is because some agents can opt out of having their listings in the online feed.
Another aspect that is different in using a Boulder Realtor versus national site is awareness. With seventeen years experience, I know where the railroad tracks are; have seen which side of street has less snow (southern exposure) and can help clients score the best value before a property is under contract.
To search Boulder homes for sale now, check out:
Boulder Open Space homes for less than one one million dollars
Boulder Foreclosure sales in Boulder County