Local Park City, Utah, realtors are buzzing about cleaning up after Zillow. The multi-million dollar real estate listing site trades publicly and apparently doesn’t care where they get their info and whether it’s accurate. The battle for off-season home buying is on and with Utah home sales on the rise and Park City sitting on less inventory this spring, there’s no time to waste. “[Zillow] provides wrong data, or duplicate listings, to make it appear they are providing more information. Any normal business operating the way they do would quickly be out of business,” said Sean Matyja,
Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Realtor.com, Homes.com are all the same. They get their the data from realtors who choose to subscribe but apparently now those sites are selling ads to realtors and forcing them to pay for the leads generated; many boards are opting out. “I just heard from a client who got an email alert on a bank-owned home in Park Meadows. I called the original listing agent who was shown as the listing brokerage; he had sold it a couple years ago! Is Zillow now making up listings from old data to bump up their numbers?” asked Matyja.
He also says Utah is a “non-disclosure” state. Real estate prices are not public record here so tax records may not match sold information. “Zillow pulls public tax records to determine their Zestimate values. The tax records are simply assessed values Summit County uses to determine tax rates, they are not necessarily the sold prices. When I look at what Zillow often posts as their Zestimates, it’s a joke,” he added. I just checked my home on Zillow and it’s about $100k over its actual market value. I went to Realtor.com- the MLS search site for all realtors- and found a better estimate but wrong information (i.e. the square footage, number of rooms, etc).
If you want true details, sold values and market values of real estate in Park City you are going to have to find a realtor you trust. How do you meet them? You know how every server in an L.A. restaurant in an actor? Well, every server and ski instructor in Park City is a realtor. Just ask around.