If someone told you that you could buy or sell a home in Montclair, NJ, all online, would you believe them? Would you think that might be too good to be true? In recent years, online tech-based brokerages have begun to emerge in the real estate market. As all our daily tasks move towards technology, there is still real value in the traditional real estate system. If you are in the market for a new Montclair home, or you are looking to sell and change up your space, you should avoid using online brokerages like Zillow. Here’s why you should stick with tradition and hire a realtor for your Montclair, NJ home.
Since 2006, Zillow has been making waves in the real estate industry. Arguably the most well known of the tech-based brokerages, this Seattle-based platform markets themselves as a one-stop-shop for all things real estate. Clients can access the site for free, and they can set up viewings and even get a mortgage. Zillow claims they handle the whole lifecycle of buying or selling a home across the United States.
Zillow’s “Zestimates” is their signature product, which is an online appraisal that gives users the value of their home immediately based on the market and other homes in the area. Between Zestimates, online mortgages, and their partner agents, Zillow should be an easy way to buy and sell a home in Montclair, NJ, but that’s not really the case.
What is Zillow’s Business Model?
Zillow is a free platform to use and to browse. Zillow users set up a free account with their necessary contact information. For Zillow to keep the platform open without a subscription, Zillow offers advertising services, an iBuying service, and their Premium Realtor Service.
The Premium Realtor Service is a partnership program between realtors and Zillow. These realtors pay a monthly subscription to be “front of the line” when it comes to leads, advertisements, and other perks on the Zillow site. When a user of the website expresses interest in a home, the premium realtors are provided with that lead first. They are also notified if someone is interested in the iBuying service.
iBuying is buying or selling a home all online. It’s a very automated and fast process, which can be beneficial in specific situations, depending on client needs.
Zillow’s advertising services include their entire network of real estate websites, including MSN Real Estate, Trulia, Hot Pads, AOL Real Estate, and MyNewPlace. They sell advertising space among these sites, which can be quite attractive for businesses like insurance companies, mortgage companies, lenders, banks, construction companies. The businesses whose target audiences are homeowners, first-time homebuyers, and real estate investors. Companies will pay premium prices for advertisements for such a niche audience.
Using Zillow versus a traditional Realtor
Zillow makes a lot of exciting claims. Buying and selling real estate virtually is a compelling concept. If it were possible to have a seamless process, it might be the way of the future. However, Zillow falls short on many of their claims. Many clients have expressed that they regret their decisions to use Zillow instead of a realtor.
It’s a known issue that Zillow has problems with providing accurate information on their site. They’re constantly criticized for having sold properties still being listed as available, which can be unfortunate for users seeking homes. If they find their perfect Montclair, NJ home, but it’s already been sold, and the information is inaccurate, that can leave a sour taste in their mouths.
Zestimates are almost always wrong. The primary service the company offers is not accurate, and how could it be? They don’t have access to the proper tools to provide a precise home assessment online. A trained professional appraiser needs to inspect the home in a detailed manner in order to provide what it’s worth. This product is too good to be true, and it frustrates many users.
Zillow is a data providing website. It’s impersonal, and there is no valuable customer experience that comes with using Zillow. It is the complete opposite if you hire a realtor. You will not only get the data you seek, but you will create a relationship with a realtor who will do their research in getting to know exactly what you’re looking for in your new home. Their effort and diligence decide whether or not they make a sale, and whether or not they get paid. If they can provide a seamless and valuable experience for their clients, people will find out. Word-of-mouth is also a powerful marketing tool for them.
How Zillow makes money can also be an issue for clients. When you sign up and provide your basic information to the website, if you show interest in a home, your contact information is passed along to their partnered realtors. The realtors that pay a premium to get the leads are not going to be the listing agent of the home. They likely don’t know much about the property you're interested in. If you have questions about the house, they won’t be able to answer them. It’s been reported that several different agents will contact users on one inquiry, which can be frustrating and overwhelming. Zillow does not handle their leads with care, and they just send you information to every premier realtor. You would never experience this with a traditional realtor.
The benefits of using a Realtor
There are definitely some disconnections between what Zillow claims and what their clients have experienced. Any issue that you would experience with Zillow, you will avoid when you hire a traditional realtor in Montclair, NJ.
Finding your realtor involves a little bit of research. Choosing a realtor that is an expert in the neighborhood you’re interested in can enhance your experience with the overall process. Buying or selling a home in Montclair, NJ, doesn’t have to be a frustration or stressful process.
If you are looking to sell your Montclair, NJ home, an experienced realtor will be able to compare the value of your home against the other homes in the area. They will work their tails off to get you the best price for your home based on the market. They can put your home in front of the proper eyes and audience, and they have a team of people to make the process easy, and you don’t have to do much of the work. When you use an online platform, like Zillow, you forfeit any of the personal touches that come along with hiring a realtor. You’re just another person trying to sell their home online to Zillow.
Realtors are paid by commission, so that adds extra motivation for them to put in the effort to sell your home, help you purchase your new home, or help you find an investment property that fits your needs. If you’re not happy, they don’t get paid, so it’s beneficial for you as the client.
When you work in a position for a long time, you learn all the solutions to problems that don’t always arise. Many realtors have already seen it all, or close to. There isn’t much you can throw at them that they haven’t dealt with before. Zillow is just a database, that is often inaccurate, and if you have concerns, you can’t just call Zillow and have them answer your questions. Your realtor is always just a phone call away.
Take the Traditional Route
Montclair, NJ is near New York City, and it’s 37,000 residents love calling this dynamic town home. Many young professionals, artists, journalists, writers, and aspiring performers call Montclair home. Montclair offers beautiful Manhattan views, a variety of parks, fantastic restaurants, entertainment, and culture. When you buy or sell a home in Montclair, NJ, using a professional realtor versus an online brokerage will be a much better experience for you, based on how Zillow operates.
Zillow is supposed to be a platform that benefits the clients, but it doesn’t live up to its own claims. Aside from being highly criticized for their signature features, it’s not an ideal experience in real estate.
Hiring a realtor should never leave you frustrated or unsure of where things stand. It’s beneficial to have a partner on your side throughout the transaction if you have questions or concerns. They are more than just a realtor, and they want to help make your dreams come true.