Don't Say The Z Word

So my first phone call today was from one pissed off client. Too many decibels and not enough listening were happening on the other end of the phone. "How in the world could you encourage me to buy in that area?  Zillow says not ONE home has sold in there in our price point in the last 12 months. How in the hell am I ever going to get my money back?" 

After playing my sitar, offering a half a gallon of Chamomile shoving a handful of Vicodin into my phone, a calmer state ensued on the other end of the conversation. I'm convinced multitasking under extreme duress should be a prerequisite in the real estate business as often as we have to do this. My hands were working furiously on the desktop while the tea, Beatles overture and pharmaceuticals were being funneled across the ethos. "Jon, I've just sent you all of the sold homes from that $100,000 price range since August 1 of 2012. As you can see there were 127 of them. Your investment will be fine."

[Insert long pause here]

"Zillow says there were no sales in this area in our price...how is this possible? How can they say that?" "Jon, I have no idea but I just sent you the results directly from the MLS. You can verify each one of them with the online county records."  

This is not the first conversation I've had regarding Zillow this year and it won't be the last. I don't have any idea how they come up with any of their information but I do know it's not taken from actual sales data. If it were, homes that closed 30 days ago would not have a 'Zestimate' value that differs from the actual sales price by over $140,000.

I don't like banging on Zillow all of the time. I don't have the time and really could care less about their existence. It's just that the more I have to fight them the more I'm going to embarrass them where ever necessary.  Frankly it's not that hard to do that.  I do know that I would NEVER want my face on their web site given all of the garbage they spew. Please consumers....realize they are just flat out inaccurate. I can send you actual home sales every single day to verify this. All I and my inner ear drums ask is that you talk to ME before you start believing them. It will be easier on both of us. (photo courtesy sargaz.wordpress.com)
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