You remember the movie “Multiplicity”? Michael Keaton’s character is offered the opportunity to clone himself in hopes of freeing up some time to enjoy life. The first two clones worked out pretty good, but where things went wrong was that third clone, the copy of the copy, that made the movie hilarious. Well, getting accurate data on real estate listings is much the same. You want the original most up to date source data, not a copy of the copy… don’t you?
In Utah there are several ways to access real estate listings, but only one source is the original source and that is UtahRealEstate.com – the public’s portal to the REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data. This site is strictly maintained and updated with the most accurate and current listings throughout the state of Utah. Any other site professing to have Utah real estate listings is either getting a feed from UtahRealEstate.com or “borrowing” data from other, less accurate sources. In other words… the third clone in “Multiplicity”…
What prompted me to write this blog were two recent e-mails I received. One from Trulia.com and the other from Zillow.com:
The Trulia email arrived on March 15, 2011, and proudly announced my listing was added to their database… TWO MONTHS after I had listed it! By the way, it was up on UtahRealEstate.com the day it was listed… just saying! The Zillow email arrived on March 28, 2011, to let me know about all the wonderful traffic that Zillow is driving to my listing. That’s great and all, just one small problem Zillow… that listing has been off the market since August, 13, 2010… SEVEN MONTHS!
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be wasting my time waiting two months to see a listing pop up, or be looking at homes that have been off the market for seven months. Kind of seems like a bad use of time, doesn’t it?
Here are some more interesting examples of listing data inaccuracies and inconsistencies:
City UtahRealEstate.com Trulia.com Zillow.com
Provo, UT 303 486 457
Orem, UT 273 488 384
That means in Provo you run the risk of seeing up to 183 homes that aren’t actively listed on Trulia and 154 homes on Zillow. In Orem, you could be wasting your time with 111 homes on Zillow and 215 homes on Trulia!
I do have to give Kudos to Zillow for at least attempting to warn the consumer about the quality of their data. Zillow offers a unique tool called a Zestimate® and on their disclosure page they acknowledge that they have 99% of the homes (uhhh… see table above???), 18% of their Zestimates® are within 5% of sales price, 36% within 10%, and 61% are within 20% for an overall median error of 14.9%! If I was pegging the value of your home as off by 14.9%, I don’t think I’d be your REALTOR® for very long!
So the moral of the story is if you want the most relevant, current, and accurate real estate data in Utah, then you have to go to UtahRealEstate.com – it’s the public version of what your REALTOR® uses for their data! Can’t get much better than that!