If you’re selling your home, check your Zillow listing. You may find that the information may not be complete. Or worse, the information posted is from a previous sale. But don’t worry, Zillow now gives you the tools to take control, attract home buyers, and improve your sale.
Most of the information you see on your Zillow listing is syndicated from the MLS. This means that your listing agent uploads information to the MLS and the MLS sends it to other websites. If you’re not happy with the listing, your agent can change some information via the MLS, and/or log into the Zillow listing to make changes. However, if your listing agent is too busy to service your listing or does not know about logging into your Zillow listing, you can now take control and attract home buyers.
Zillow offers home owners the opportunity to “claim” their home to access features to personalize information to help home buyers (and Zillow) to get a better picture about their home. The “Personalized Owner Dashboard” gives you control of your listing (zillowgroup.com/news/personalized-owner-dashboard).
Of the many available tools, online metrics is useful to see how much attention your home is getting from home buyers. You can view your home listing’s online activity, including how many times the listing has been viewed compared to your competition.
Improve on the house description by adding “What I love about the home.” This feature conveys to home buyers what attracted you to your home. Elicit the home buyer’s emotions to visit it and attract home buyers by adding your story.
The MLS limits the number of pictures on your listing. So, solely relying on the MLS feed can also limit your Zillow listing. Increasing the number of pictures and adding video can make your home listing more robust, and attention getting. Zillow allows you (and your agent) to upload additional pictures. You can upload, arrange, and describe additional photos to help give home buyers the best view of your home. Zillow even lets you upload a video that you record from your smartphone! Besides including a link to the MLS virtual tour, Zillow added the “walk through” video feature last year.
Not happy with your Zestimate? You’re not alone. Zillow’s Zestimate tool has received mixed reviews since its inception. Many home buyers and sellers have used the tool as a guide in to help their buying and selling by looking at house and neighborhood trends. However, there has been criticism from home owners and real estate agents saying that home valuation tool is not inaccurate and does not correctly portray their homes and listings. As a response, Zillow has changed the algorithm over the years. And this year, Zillow announced a $1,000,000 prize for the best model to improve the Zestimate tool (zillow.com/promo/zillow-prize). But that hasn’t stopped a class action suit that complains that the Zestimate is “misleading” home buyers (Rachel Koning Beals; Do Zillow ‘Zestimates’ mislead home buyers? Lawsuit claims yes; marketwatch.com; May 23, 2017).
Improve your Zestimate. Yes, you can improve your Zestimate. The dashboard allows you to update the facts about your home. Updating your home’s information will give home buyers a better description, and it can possibly improve the Zestimate. Since the Zestimate is based on public records, all your home’s information may not be current or complete. Telling Zillow about the extras, such as bathrooms, a finished basement, a deck, etc. can be a plus and attract home buyers.
Copyright© Dan Krell
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