• Nitten Gokhaley

Realty Sector Professionals Explain: Five Reasons Not To Register With Zillow

As American author, Laura Ingalls Wilder rightly said, "Home is the nicest word there is." Everyone may not agree, but it is certainly not something worth letting go of at the click of a button.

Online real-estate marketplaces claim to offer the highest possible price for properties within a shorter time frame. However, real-estate transactions made on such platforms have their share of pitfalls.

The online real estate marketplace, Zillow, does not need much of an introduction. A lot has already been covered on the positive aspects; let's focus on some of the crucial drawbacks.


(Editor's Note: The following post is a slightly edited transcription for realtor Tracy Tofte's IGTV, and the author has her approval for the blog. Tracy is a Top Producing Realtor in L.A. / Keller Williams Realty/ Tofte-Bernardo Real Estate).

Zillow is turning into a real estate brokerage (Zillow Homes). They claim they want to sell the client's house. But they are actually buying homes.

So, they are not representing the seller, but they are representing themselves as the buyer. How can this be beneficial in offering the best representation for sellers? It's not.


1 "Buy low sell high"

Get representation that has a fiduciary responsibility to you. Zillow wants to buy low and sell high to make a profit. They are investor buyers who are typically looking to spread and make the most money.

2 "System-generated prices"

The offer price is often based on computer-generated data without anyone surveying the property. They base it on the number of bedrooms and often do not consider the kitchen or bathroom remodels, brand new windows, and flooring. Associates visit the property after the seller signs the contract. Thus, making an offer without someone visiting the property does not make sense.

3 "Seller's market"

Currently, several cities lack sufficient inventory. So, sellers are in the driver's seat. Zillow's system does not consider the multiple offers that the seller can get just from going in the market and taking advantage of high buyer demand.

Experts suggest the difference can be between 50 and 60k. "Six of the recently sold properties closed 50 to 60k higher than what Zillow was offering," said realtor Tracy Tofte.

Remember, southern California home prices indicate that it's a seller's market. So, why should the seller give Zillow so much money?

4" The cost far exceeds traditional transaction"

Sellers may end up paying roughly around 4 percent commission, Zillow fee, another escrow fee, plus upfront fees of about $8,200 to 14,000 before hitting the market.

Sellers are required to fix safety issues and government-required repairs. Put simply; homeowners might end up fixing items that can improve Zillow's chances of flipping the property.

5 "Additional surprises"

Some properties require retrofit inspection and city/country transfer tax fees. Zillow does not mention these fees in the required seller fees column.




Scrolling through listings on Zillow and imagining living somewhere else can be a good pastime. But remember, buying or selling a house is one of the most significant financial transactions of life. Why compromise so much? Meet with an experienced licensed agent.


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