It used to be a given for anyone selling a house that a real-estate
agent would put the listing on national real-estate aggregator websites
like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com to maximize exposure and sell the home quickly. But that could be changing fast as aggregators and agents face off.
2005 or so, real-estate agents have shared data about homes they have
for sale with those national sites, which have millions of visitors
(Zillow, for example, had 32 million last month). But even though the
sites have grown, sales haven't in the distressed housing market,
and some agents believe the sites may not be helping. They accuse the
sites of engaging in practices that give buyers inaccurate information
that may hurt sales.
Among their complaints are that the sites
allow any agent, for a fee, to have his or her name and photo appear
prominently beside the homes listed for sale in a given region, even if
the person in picture isn't the agent representing the seller. In
reality, the agent in the photo may know little about the property or
the neighborhood where the house is located, frustrating customers'
efforts to get accurate answers, according to a report last year by
real-estate consulting firm Clareity.
What do you think? Do you think that sites such as Zillow and Realtor.com are inaccurate?