Why home info on the internet is so confusing

Tuesday, 8 November 2016
I get calls from clients all the time about why their home isn't listed, why is it showing active when it's really pending, etc., etc.  Here's the deal -- different websites list information differently.

First, all the secondary sites (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin, etc.) pick up their info from the local multiple listing services.  We Realtors enter the info into the mls's. The local mls services are supposed to cooperate with each other, but sometimes add each other's info very slowly.  So while you are seeing something on, say, Zillow, your Realtor may not be able to find it on his/her multiple listing service for a few more hours.

The "fast" sites are Redfin and Zillow.  But remember that it all comes from an mls, so its useful to ask your Realtor to create an automatic search on the mls for you, and look at it first.  Slow sites are some mls's and Realtor.com.

Also, there are different confusing designations.  We all know what "active" and "sold" mean.  What does "active-under contract" mean? It means that it is already pending sale, but the sellers are still taking backup offers.  Some websites show this designation as "active." It isn't, not really.  If you really want to see one of these, ask your Realtor to call the listing agent and ask how their escrow is going. That way, you won't waste your time.

And some sites just misinterpret data. (To be fair, some Realtors mistakenly enter incorrect mls data, too.) They mark search fields differently, don't show all open houses, don't pick up pictures, etc., etc.

Confused? Even Realtors get confused by this.  Don't worry, you will get all the info on a piece of property.  It just may take some sleuthing on the part of you and your Realtor.