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I Have A Theory

I have a theory and it may be costing someone you know money – someone thinking of buying a home. It’s my Tall Building Theory (TBT). The TBT really is about architectural “costumes” and home buyer tendencies to trust a costume as opposed to searching for facts and representation. Homebuyer Associates work in a small building. We represent.

You want to buy a home. If you are like most you want information but are not aware that much of your decision making will be based on emotion. Traditional agents are aware buyers make decisions based on emotion.
Zillow is a Tall Building. Trulia is a Tall Building. Because each is a large company and well branded you believe them. Why believe Homebuyer Associates? We work in a small building and our brand is small (we do no advertising). I jokingly tell people, “If you can find us we’ll work for you.” Here’s why you should question the answers provided by branded companies – and not just Zillow and Trulia.
A study was recently released by the WAV Group which compared the comprehensiveness and accuracy of real estate listings on Zillow and Trulia. The study looked at 6,401 home listings in 33 zip codes from 11 cities in the U.S.
That study found that Zillow and Trulia listed 80% of the agent listed homes. If you are a buyer searching those sites it means you might be missing homes you should be considering – because you are missing 20% of the market.
The study also found that 36% of the agent listed homes shown as “active” were no longer for sale (that means they were sold or expired) on the local MLS service (which Homebuyer Associates belongs to). This inaccuracy only hurts the buyer.

If the buyer calls an agent on a sold or expired listing the agent benefits – the agent gets to sell them another home.
Five months ago Zillow stated in a New York Times piece that their algorithms were such that errors occurred and they were trying to make improvements. So they miss 20% of listings; 36% of the homes listed on the site have been sold or have expired and their algorithms aren’t working. TBT.

Understand that Zillow and Trulia are not real estate firms. They are marketing firms which make money by selling real-estate-related advertising on their site. Agents use Zillow and Trulia to generate leads.
This is all well and good but the consumer should understand the quality (or lack of) of the information they are receiving when doing research to buy a home. My suggestion is that you look past the brand for the most accurate information you can find.
One might ask, “If the information is not consistently good of what value is the information?” My retort would be, “Big business? It doesn’t have to be accurate it just has to be believable by the consumer.”
At Homebuyer Associates we provide as accurate information as we are able to find with research. Recall in last month’s E-Note I noted how the data sheets many buyers receive from traditional agents do not contain all of the relevant information. Homebuyer Associates is transparent. We provide all of the data.
Our daily real estate searches use the MLS – the most up to date source of homes – and we only send listings to our clients for consideration that are available and meet the parameters established by our clients.
The problem is we don’t work in a Tall Building or wear a “costume.” If you can look past that give us a call for some real….real estate information.
Thanks for reading

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Homebuyer Associates
1835 N. Riverwalk Way
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-254-4129