Updated March 26th, 2019
It’s hard to know which of the most popular real estate websites to use to get the best results. Zillow vs. Redfin? What about Trulia? There seem to be so many different sites to choose from that it’s easy to get confused by the online real estate industry.
Here, we’ll go over the pros and cons of each so that you can be sure to make the best choice when buying and selling a home.
What is Zillow?
The Zillow Group got its name because its goal was to provide its visitors with “zillions” of data points. The company accomplished its goal because what it is mainly famous for is its “Zillow’s Zestimates” tool. This tool allows buyers and sellers to take an educated guess as to what a home might be worth.
It also breaks down this semi-appraised home price into monthly payments. The tool includes things like the monthly cost of a loan’s principal and interest, taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and mortgage insurance. By adding in all these “little extras,” a Zillow estimate gives potential homeowners a more realistic idea of what they would actually be paying each month on a specific house.
Zillow also has a tool that homebuyers can use to find top-rated agents in your area or the area you would like to move to. These agents all tend to operate at the average commission rate of 6% of the final sales price, sometimes higher.
Zillow’s main downside is this: timeliness. If you compare Zillow to other multiple listing services, you’ll soon find that homes listed on Zillow are often already sold, under contract, or just gone. Usually what will happen is that you will send your agent the links to the ones you’ll want to set up viewings for, only to be met with a “Sorry, no longer available” message.
What is Redfin?
You can also use Redfin to find agents in your area. These agents can also be slightly more expensive than is actually needed (keep reading to find out why!), as they operate on the same average commission rate of 6%.
It’s important to note, however, that Redfin is an actual real estate brokerage firm. So, unlike other online real estate companies like Zillow who just shows you agents, if you use Redfin, you’ll be working with one of their agents.
However, the listings on Redfin do seem to be a little bit more up to date than the ones on Zillow. That is, if you see a home like, odds are good that if you send your agent the real estate listing, that they can set up a viewing for you in time.
While there is currently no such things as Redfin estimates, the website does source pricing information from Zillow and eAppraisal at the bottom of each listing.
What is Trulia?
Trulia is an online real estate marketplace that has all of the same listings that you would see on Redfin or Zillow. It also has a “Trulia estimate tool.” Similar to Zillow’s estimates, this tool attempts to break down the true cost of purchasing a home into more digestible monthly payments.
What makes Trulia different from its competition is that it’s the only one of these online tech companies that has such a good handle on presenting local map view data.
This means that if you use Trulia to look for houses, you can look at nearby comparable sales, all the schools in the local area, amenities, and transit options, all on an easy-to-read map. You can even look into local crime rates around the property that you are considering.
When you live somewhere, you typically consider the property’s location along with the home itself. You usually have to go out and see the home in person to get a good feel for this, but Trulia makes it possible to do this online because of the availability of this data.
Many potential homeowners prefer this feature because it saves them the hassle of having to go all the way to a showing only to discover that the nearest grocery store is 20 minutes away, there are no train stops nearby, and the neighborhood isn’t as nice as they were wishing for.
Zillow vs. Redfin: Which one should I use?
The actual best choice when looking for houses online (or buying houses in person!) is to use the team at Clever.
Why is that? Money! Well, saving money, that is.
If you are selling your home and you list with Clever instead of using a more “traditional” agent, you will instantly save thousands of dollars.
Clever is the Right Choice
Let’s do the math:
Clever Partner Agents charge an affordable flat fee of $3,000 to sell a house. Let’s say you sell your home for a cool $250,000. The current national average for Realtor’s commissions in the United States is about 6% of the final sales price. So, you would owe your real estate agent $15,000!
$15,000 – $3,000 = $12,000 in instant savings!
And the best part? You still will receive the same top-notch, all-inclusive services that you would have if you found your agent on Zillow, Redfin, or Trulia.
Buying a home? Clever is still the best choice! We partner with the very best agents in your area to get you the best deal on the best house. Our partner agents will even rebate you up to 1% of their commission on closing day. You’ll be hard pressed to find another agent who will be willing to do that for you elsewhere.
So remember, in the Zillow vs. Redfin vs. Trulia debate, the true answer is Clever, the surprise option you didn’t even know you had (but now you know you need).