FAQ Series: Why do I see a home on Zillow and call to be told it is Sold?

Question:  Who do I see a home advertised on Zillow or… ( insert any online real estate portal apart from the local MLS) and call to find it is Sold?

Answer:  Real estate listings usually originate from a contract between the owner (Seller) and the real estate broker (represented by an agent/salesperson).  When a home is listed on a local multiple listing service (MLS), the broker is obligated to share the information with other brokers who are also members of the Multiple Listing Service.  There is often a time limit with a potential penalty if this is not done.  As a result, this is the broker’s first priority.

Many brokers also share their listings on a number of online portals.  Some which you may be familiar with are Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads etc. Depending on how the initial feed is shared, there may be a delay in sharing and uploading the data to third party sources.  More frequently, there can be gaps in updating the data when the listing is SOLD especially when the initial upload was done manually.  As a result, the feed from online portals is often not totally accurate.  This is one reason why your inquiry about a listing may indicate that the listing is no longer available.

If you want the most accurate source of data for real estate listings, it is advisable to check with the a broker who is a member of the local multiple listing service.  The Association which runs the local multiple listing service has checks and balances in place to make sure that agents share their information in a timely and accurate manner.  When errors do occur, they are far more likely to be corrected on the multiple listing service first.  Also, for first dibs on the latest listings…you can sign up for our VIP Listing Referral Service which will notify you in real-time when new listings which match the criteria you have requested are available.  There is no fee for this service.  You simply have to ask.  (616-791-0511)

About the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions Series)

This series is designed to answer questions that we hear clients asking over and over again.  Perhaps, you’ve wondered about some of these questions yourself.  While this is not intended to be an exhaustive explanation on the subject being discussed, it is our hope that these short blogs will provide helpful insights and may encourage you to explore further.  Please feel free to contact us by phone or e-mail with any questions.

More FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) here

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