There’s lots of chatter happening in the real estate industry right now about Move Inc. (the owner of Realtor.com and other online real estate sites), Zillow and Trulia.
A little background
- Move Inc. was purchased by News Corp. back in September 2014 and has been making changes to the way listing data is handled ever since.
- Zillow purchased Trulia in 2014, although they say the two will remain separate entities.
- The biggest feather in Move Inc.’s cap is the fact that almost every MLS in the country sends their listings to Realtor.com.
- The biggest feather in the Zillow/Trulia cap is the massive amount of website traffic they generate every day.
So, what does this have to do with you, a home buyer or seller?
A couple of things spring to mind for me.
Let’s face it. What home buyers want are listings. Show them what’s for sale, keeping the information accurate along the way. There’s nothing more frustrating to a home buyer than finding out that a home they see online is not actually available to view or purchase, but that happens a LOT on 3rd party sites that don’t get their information directly from the MLS.
Home sellers want their homes where the buyers are. For now, that means the big 3 real estate portals, Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia, despite the fact that the information may be outdated or inaccurate.
Move Inc. owns a company called ListHub, that a significant number of MLSs across the country use to send their listings to Zillow and Trulia. Beginning in April of 2015, Move Inc. will no longer provide that information to either of those sites, which will mean a dramatic reduction in the number of listings displayed unless individual MLSs and/or brokerages make a deal to send the data directly to Zillow/Trulia.
UPDATE: Everyone is playing nice in the sandbox and, for the most part, all of the New Orleans brokerages are continuing to send their listings to the syndicators.
How does this play out in New Orleans?
It all depends on what brokerage you choose to sell your home. Some of the traditional local brokerages don’t syndicate to any sites except Realtor.com. Some of them send their listings to Zillow, Trulia and other small players. Some don’t syndicate at all, relying strictly on the MLS for advertising your home for sale. Ask your agent how they will market your home before signing a listing agreement.