Hi All,

I like Zillow! There, I’ve said it, and I’ll say it again by golly… I LIKE Zillow a lot! Why you may ask would a Realtor be a Zillow fan especially when they seem to be trying to give away all the super secret Realtor decoder ring keys and tricks to everybody for free? Well, I’ll tell ya, I like ‘um because my client’s like ‘um. And because they help me speak to my client’s in a way that they can understand. I use Zillow for fun and profit and to make my job as a Realtor easier. I use them to help my buyer’s search for what they want and my seller’s understand the market in a way that facts and figures alone might not be able to do.

There is a whole lot more available on Zillow than just property values.

Here is my Zestimate (a Zillow coined word for estimate :-) of some of what I think are Zillow’s most valuable and fun tools for both sides, how I use them and how you can too.

Let’s start the feature that started it all the “Zestimate”. A Zestimate of a home’s value is not a cast in stone price that a buyer will pay or a seller can expect to receive but it can give a very general idea of value. I actually encourage potential seller’s to do a Zestimate themselves because it gives us a jumping off point to start a pricing discussion.

One of my favorite tools is Dueling Digs. Dueling Digs is useful and just plain fun to play with. This is great to use when I am talking about staging a seller’s home to help them begin to view their home through a potential buyer’s eyes. And since it shows you how your choices compare to all the other folks who have “dueled” you really can get a feel for how your taste compares with others. It is also great to look at when you have bought or are considering buying a new home and want to get decorating ideas.

And, before I ever sit down with folks to discuss helping them sell their home I take a look to see if they have “Claimed” their home and/or set a “Make Me Move” price. This tells me how internet savvy they might be (very helpful for a tech geek like myself :-) and it gives me an idea of where their head might financially be. And, when I am working with folks looking to purchase a home I like to check to see if the homes they are interested in have been “claimed” or if a Make Me Move price has been set by the owner’s as this can give us an idea how negotiable the current owner’s might be before we ever write an offer.

Mortgage Marketplace is a nifty tool allowing potential buyer’s or folks looking to refinance, a fast, easy way to start shopping for a loan or see where their loan rates might fall.

I like the tools that Zillow provides but what I like even more is the transparency that Zillow helps me to provide to my clients. When I tell folks that I am a Realtor, they know what I do, but still may not have the foggiest notion how I do it.

The truth is that there aren’t any “super secret Realtor decoder ring keys and tricks”. Real Estate is not a mystery wrapped up in an enigma, it boils down to a pretty straight forward transaction – “I have what you want and you have what I want, let’s switch”. My job is to help facilitate the “switch” and Zillow’s tools can help.

A lot of my cohorts get very caught up in whether Zillow’s values are “right” or “wrong”. But, I think that they are totally missing the boat. The truth is that I don’t care whether they are bang on the money or a mile off, it doesn’t really matter, because it is MY job to be the voice of accuracy, in-depth local market knowledge and the factors that affect value where my client’s home is concerned.

If Zillow’s numbers differ from mine it is a great opportunity for me to demonstrate what I do and how I do it so that they will understand not just the result, but the process. Zillow helps start conversations, it gives folks lots of things to talk about and until that happens nothing else can.

So, if you haven’t already checked out what they have to offer, spend a few minutes poking around on Zillow and you may be amazed at what you find.

Take care all and have a wonderful day!

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5 Responses to How To Use Zillow For Fun And Profit – One Girls Humble Opinion…

  1. Spencer from Zillow here.

    Tisza, thanks for your thoughts on Zillow. Much appreciated. Good luck with everything.

  2. Ed Peaslee says:

    You’re not kidding when you say you like Zillow. I’m a big fan as well and have been using it for years. Sometimes it’s not quite accurate but it does a great job. Another website I’ve been using lately is PropertyMaps. It’s a Google Maps/MLS/RealtyTrac mashup that blows my mind. I the both a lot for comparisons and verification. And of course, like you said, it’s makes your our jobs easier.

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