The Moral of the Zillow Story

Let's face it, the real estate industry can be quite unforgiving. For a long time now, we as Realtors have had to sign on to a strong code of ethics essentially putting our clients, home buyers and sellers, first.

So, along come big corporations trying to get in on the game. Zillow is but one such corporation that has aspirations of making it big. But to do so on a national level, how can they ride the line between making their shareholders happy and putting their buyers and sellers first?

Excellent question!

This article from Business Insider, as well as many others this past week illustrate the weakness in Zillow's plans and the resulting crash in value the first week of November 2021 shown by the chart above.

There are three morals to the story, as I see it as a Claremont, California Realtor.

  1. Easy is cheezy. It's all about their bottom line...not their clients. They "aim to buy below market value" for the convenience of a quick and easy sale. So, the seller exchanges equity for ease. Further, their all-in-one model of helping people sell, finance and buy through Zillow again benefits the corporation and not the client. Is it really a good idea to let them represent someone through the whole process? Sounds good, just ignore the fine print that allows them to cash in on your ignorance.

  2. Their Zestimates aren't that zesty after all. They can't even correctly predict value on homes they bought. No matter how good they think their algorithm is, it failed them. So, why should anyone rely on it?

  3. Corporate greed will burn you. They are not about serving their clients. They want profit and their greedy drive for it cost them a huge loss this last week. At least with a Realtor you have a better chance of being fairly represented, if not supremely represented with your best interests always at the forefront.

Let's not buy into the lies. Real estate is not easy and you will get burned if you don't know what you are doing. Find a Realtor you can trust to only serve your best interests!

I have lost several sales over the last fifteen years in this business by telling the client what is best for them. Yes, it would have been easy to tweak the truth a bit in my favor, but that's just wrong and has never been a part of why I got into this business.

Remember: You come first! Don't compromise on that, especially for ease or for a corporation.

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