Zillow is the most popular home search website, but not necessarily the best place to start your home search for homes in and around Whatcom County and Bellingham Washington. Zillow offers a ton of market information, community threads, and a directory of Realtors in any given area (so you can look up reviews and production of agents). So I think it’s a good resource, but here is the 3 reasons you should try John L Scott’s website for your home Bellingham & Whatcom County home search instead.
#1 Faster Notifications of New Listings and Price Reductions
John L Scott (and all company websites), have a direct connection with the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, where as Zillow does not in our area. So new listings and price reductions can take up to 24 hours to update on Zillow’s website, where as they show up on John L Scott’s website within a couple of hours.
Example: I just listed a home at 3821 Spring Coulee rd in Bellingham for $334k yesterday at approximately 1:30 PM. It appeared here on John L Scott’s site at 2:35 PM. It did not appear on Zillow until early AM this morning. By the time it appeared on Zillow, the home already had 4 showings!
In today’s market, that is HUGE! Some listings are pending in less than 24 hours. So not seeing the new listing or price reduction until the next day, puts you at a huge disadvantage compared to other buyers. You now have less time to schedule to see–then consider a new listing, and sometimes that extra day can be the difference.
#2 More Accurate Information
Since Zillow is collecting listings from all kinds of sources (but not directly from the MLS), us agents often get calls on listings on Zillow that are listed as active, but may have pended 2 weeks ago. Sometimes sold listings will still appear pending months after being closed! I once had someone inquire with me about a listing they saw on Zillow, that sold a year earlier.
#3 Less Click Bait and Soliciting
A website like John L Scott is going to simply list all active homes for sale from all companies. Zillow has a different objective. They make money on agents paying for advertising on their website. Which means they need you to click on things and inquire with those agents. They list “pre-foreclosures”, which is essentially useless information (this is NOT a home you can buy right now, and it is not necessarily foreclosing…I will write a blog on this another day). The bottom line is the objective of Zillows site is to have tons of homes for you to click on (even if they are not actually for sale), so that the advertised agent gets you as a “lead”.
This is particularly a frustrating thing to deal with if you already have matched up with a buyers agent. Your best bet then is to use the website that your agent recommends, so you can stay connected and easily communicate when you want to inquire about a listing.
Even if your not working with another agent, there is less “click bait” on company websites like John L Scott.
Of course, if you want to connect with me for your search in Bellingham and Whatcom County, you can use this link johnlscott.com/paulbalzotti, or use my personal site PaulBalzotti.com. Both will show only listings and no fluff.
All of this applies to the mobile APP too. If your using Zillow’s app, try John L Scotts app for the reasons outlined above.