Can you trust the information on Zillow and Trulia? The Accuracy of Real Estate Websites

Can you trust the information on Zillow and Trulia?

You’ve scoured the internet for local Real Estate listings that might match your ideal property.  Maybe you’ve pinned down a few that look especially interesting, or maybe you haven’t found much that ignites that spark of enthusiasm.

With all the sites out there advertizing local real estate, your head is spinning.  Perhaps there are a handful of the “Big Five” brokerage firms in your area.  You’ve checked those.  Then there are dozens of smaller brokerages.  Maybe their websites are useful…and maybe some of them leave you more frustrated than when you began your search.

Ah!  Now HERE’S a site that looks promising…

Looks like one of those aggregate sites that collect ALL the listings from the local brokerages across the nation.  Easy info right at your fingertips…Right?


And maybe not.

Windermere and Redfin just published a study showing that across 11 major U.S. cities, local broker sites such as,, and have about 20+% more agent-listed properties than two national portals, Zillow and Trulia.

We thought you might like to see this entire report, just out, which was published by, and  It is embedded below, or you can obtain the PDF version in the link that follows:
The Accuracy of Real Estate Websites
The Accuracy of Real Estate Websites

So…can you trust the information on Zillow and Trulia?

As Realtors®, we’d like you to know a couple things about aggregate sites such as Zillow and Trulia.

While we value these kinds of websites as great marketing tools, they are no substitute for the accurate information or professional service that we offer our clients day in and day out.  Why?

1.  Sites like these do not necessarily feature up-to-the-minute information on all available listings from various MLS servers around the nation.

Portal sites obtain their listings from a variety of sources: individual brokerage feeds, third-party listing aggregators, and direct entry by agents. Occasionally portal sites gain access to MLS data, but even when this happens, that access is only partial. The median delay between when a home was listed on the MLS and when it appeared on the portal sites was nine days for Trulia and seven days for Zillow.

Here is a common scenario for us:  we post a new listing on our local Multiple Listing Service,  or we change an existing listing, such as lowering the price.  While the change is nearly immediately reflected in the MLS, we sometimes wait 24 hours for our brokerage’s website to update, reflecting the new change.  In turn, our brokerage then sends this information to Zillow and Trulia, and we won’t see the change reflected in those sites for several days.

2.  We, the Realtors® who represent these properties, have far less control over the actual data that is gathered about each property.

Key details are inevitably omitted or over-generalized.

And don’t even get us STARTED about “Zestimates!”

As the listing agents, we do have a measure of control over changes in some details on websites like Zillow and Trulia.  However, after we have changed or added detail in every available “field”, these sites often work “magic” which presents our listings often less-than-accurately.  In other instances, we are not given opportunity to change certain details at all.

With the inconsistent and/or latent flow of information “sweeping” from MLS to the Brokerage, then the Brokerage to the Aggregate, it’s easy to see how

some vital information inevitably gets “lost” in translation.

What’s the bottom line, then?  Are we suggesting that you shun these information treasure troves?

Not at all!  As Realtors®, we value the broad nature of the exposure that they bring to each of our listings.

Use them to get a VERY GENERAL idea of what may be available

in your favorite neighborhood.  Use them to compare neighborhoods, cities, local amenities. school districts, and general pricing ideas.

Scour these sites with our blessing!  But…

If you find a property that strikes your fancy,

PLEASE call your Realtor® for the most accurate information

on all the specifics of the properties that intrigue you, including price, floorplans, features, and availability.

Want the very best information about Real Estate in Coeur d’Alene?

Use our North Idaho Real Estate Search Tool!

Use this tool to search ALL the listings in the Coeur d’Alene Multiple Listing Service!

North Idaho Real Estate Search tool on

or Visit

You can now search the MLS for a complete list of Coeur d’Alene Homes for Sale, including Short Sale and Foreclosure properties!

Search all CDA Real Estate listings - even short sales and foreclosures

Our New Search Tool, features our
Easy, No Hassle One-Time Registration.
“Get In, Get Out & Get ON with It!”



Here’s a link to all the currently available

Coeur d’Alene Homes for Sale

from the Coeur d’Alene Multiple Listing Service.

See something that intrigues you?

We’d love to arrange a private tour!  Call us today!  We LOVE to show property!


Randy and Christy Oetken

of Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty


 View all our Listings on this website! Visit

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