Zillow and Trulia - The inside story.

People often ask about Zillow and Trulia. Many questions often evolve around accuracy. Why do some properties not appear on Zillow and Trulia while other sold properties linger on the sites long after closing? The primary issue is Zillow and Trulia primarily rely on real estate brokers to submit ( and eventually remove ) their listings to the sites. Zillow and Trulia do not have a direct connection to the MLS. Brokers may elect not to submit their listings or delay submission.

Why would a broker elect not to submit their listings to Zillow and Trulia? There are a variety of potential reasons. Zillow and Trulia built a very successful business and websites based upon real estate brokers giving their listings to the sites for free. Zillow and Trulia then charge real estate brokers to appear on the sites with their listings. Zillow and Trulia also sell "advertising space" to brokers by zip code. Consequently, the three brokers that often appear next to a listing on Zillow and Trulia pay for that spot. They typically have no direct knowledge of the listing. As a result, a broker gives her listing to Zillow and Trulia for free so they can feature the listing on their site and charge brokers who have no direct knowledge of the listing to appear next to the broker's listing. The only option for the listing broker to appear next to her listing is to pay Zillow and Trulia for the privilege of appearing next to her own listing that she gave to Zillow and Trulia for free.

Many sellers want their homes featured on Zillow and Trulia. However, concerns arise when sellers realize that potentially interested buyers are directed to brokers who may have no knowledge of their home or may have another listing they would prefer to sell to the prospective buyer. Such concerns are particularly common with luxury home sellers.