Websites like Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, and are popular among people looking for their next home. Since most homebuyers search online before ever hiring an agent, the search function is a really big deal.

However, I want to invite you to use our site to search for homes because it actually has accurate data. Our site is hooked up to our local MLS system and the data is much more accurate because it’s updated every five minutes or so. You’ll find that with sites like Zillow, five of the 10 homes you want to go see may already be under contract. Why?

Homes are flying off the shelf right now. In fact, I’ve recently listed homes that have sold in a single day. Homes sell very quickly if they’re pristine and priced properly. Since they sell so fast, there’s a lot of turnover in the MLS, so other sites like Zillow can’t keep up.

“When there’s a lot of turnover in the market, Zillow can’t keep up.”

We also field a lot of questions about Zillow’s Zestimates, which are automated, algorithmic estimations of a home’s value. The National Association of Realtor’s value estimation (Realtor’s property resource, or RPR for short) is algorithmic as well, and we find that they are very accurate and getting even better. The results of these automated value models should be adjusted for location, neighborhood, condition, and amenities, which can cause a variation in price. We can help you with all those adjustments when it comes to valuing a home.

Since inventory is tight in the northern Virginia market, another kind of website we’ve been using to find homes for our buyers who are obsessed with getting that perfect home is FSBO (for sale by owner) sites, as well as expired listings. On the selling side of things, we’ve also got a new algorithmic methodology that will get your home on page one of Google for up to 50 search terms.

If you have any questions about using websites and their algorithms for buying or selling a home, give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help.