Real Estate in a Digital Age

Where do you go when you want information about real estate? Zillow? Trulia? Another website? According to the National Association of Realtors, 44% of buyers look online first! 99% of Millennials search online sites compared to 89% of the Baby boomer generation, and the boomer generation uses online video sites more often. This is important for sellers! Make sure your Realtor has a good video of your listing. In addition, only 63% of the boomer generation visited an open house to find a home, which is still high, but not as important, in my opinion, as a good online presence.

Like many of you, I was looking online at properties, although searching in another state for my Wealth and Health Center project. Scrolling through properties, I realized I was doing what everyone does when there is no MLS access—looking at Zillow! After finding what was the perfect piece of acreage on a river to have my creamery (goat cheese!), small vineyard and retreat center, I emailed the agent to see if an offer could be made. The response was that property was already under contract.

What?! But Zillow says . . .! Well, dang it. My future property was under contract, and now, two months later, Zillow is still showing it as an active listing. That got me thinking—what is the purpose of doing all the searches online if the online information is incorrect?

In Utah, and obviously in other states as well, third-party sites like Zillow, Trulia and do not “speak” to the MLS often, therefore information is old.

If you are looking for information on what your property is worth, or, if you want to know what the neighborhood is doing, or maybe just want to look at properties to move to, understand that most of these third-party sites do not have what you are looking for!

To really know what is going on, connect with your family realtor! They have to-the-second updated access to the actual market. Quite often they have direct feeds from the MLS to their personal websites, allowing you to search the MLS at your leisure.

In addition, sites like Zillow, which gives “Z-estimates” for your home value, do not take into account the condition of the home, upgrades done, specific location of the property, or anything other than square footage, bedrooms, baths, and garage space! A home in North Ogden and Pleasant View is not the same as a home just over the line into the northern part of Ogden, even if similar in size, age, and square footage.

If you want to get the value of your home as this next season of moving begins, visit your realtor’s website or home valuation link. Don’t have a family realtor? Visit us at! Then stay in touch with your realtor so you can get the best possible “pulse” on the market!

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