Would you purchase your new Colorado Springs home online if you could? How about getting your mortgage online without stepping foot in a bank? In a perfect world, this sounds like an ideal situation for some people, but in reality, it might not be all that it seems. E-commerce real estate companies like Zillow and Trulia suggest that they are a one-stop-shop for all your home buying and selling needs. Eliminate the need for a traditional realtor in this day and age and just handle the process on your own. What could possibly go wrong? The truth is that these companies should be bypassed, and you should stick with a realtor. Here’s why you shouldn’t use Trulia to buy or sell a home in Colorado Springs.
What is Trulia?
Trulia is part of Zillow’s network of real estate websites. Others include AOL Real Estate, Hotpads, MyNewPlace, and MSN Real Estate. Zillow was established in 2006 in Seattle, and it is possibly the biggest platform of this kind, with their network closely trailing behind. In 2015, Zillow acquired Trulia for $3.5 billion.
Trulia is advertised as a database that is used to connect interested home buyers with sellers and partnered realtors. It can even be used to find rental properties. Trulia is very similar to Zillow, but it offers an interactive crime map, extensive community insights, and cost breakdowns.
How does Trulia make money?
Since the website is free to use, Trulia’s leading source of revenue is advertising, just like Zillow. Agents can promote themselves and their listings on the platform, mortgage brokers and insurance companies are also frequent advertisers. Due to the targeted nature of Trulia’s audience, advertisers will pay top dollar to be seen on the site. In the past, users have complained that Trulia is overloaded with ads, and it negatively affects the experience online. They have taken that feedback into account, and it has improved slightly since.
Choosing Trulia or a Traditional Realtor
Trulia is its own platform, so their listings are not up-to-the-minute. Use caution when browsing Trulia, as some of their promoted listings are not accurate or available. This can be frustrating for users because you never know which listings are available or not. This has been a considerable critique of the website and it’s parent company Zillow. When you choose to work with a realtor, they have access to the MLS, which is the most up to date, current listings. As their client, you will have access to that information whenever you need it. A realtor is always just a phone call away.
When you’re browsing Trulia’s site, you will be prompted to provide your necessary contact information to continue browsing. You may just be browsing for fun, or you might be an interested buyer, there is no way to tell. However, your information will be treated the same and sent to all the premium realtors that have partnered with Trulia. You will likely be bombarded by many realtors, as there is a lack of communication between Trulia and their realtors. Comparing this experience to a traditional realtor, where this situation would never occur, it would be a different story. When you work with a realtor, you work specifically with that realtor. You’re far enough along in the process of buying or selling your Colorado Springs home that you know you are interested in properties, and your realtor will handle the rest.
Trulia and Zillow do not have the best reputation, and there are plenty of negative experiences documented from past clients who are not thrilled with their experience. There is a lot of misinformation on the site, allegedly. Unhappy clients have mentioned that after they gave their personal information, or paid the premium fees, that they weren’t provided any benefits. The website is unclear, and that needs to be ironed out.
Hiring a traditional realtor is a motivated person to have on your team. Since they get paid through commission, not through lead generation or advertising, their livelihood is based on the experience they provide you. If you’re not happy with them, or they can’t find you precisely what you want, they don’t get paid.
When Trulia promotes a listing, it can be promoted with any of their premium realtors, not always the listing agent. This is another frustration factor for users. If you have a particular question about a property you might be interested in, and you attempt to get in contact with a realtor about it, they likely won’t be able to answer for you. A traditional realtor will use conventional methods to contact the listing agent to find out everything you want to know about the property. They may even set up a showing with them, and you can find out together.
Trulia is a crapshoot of information, and you never know which of it is accurate. A traditional realtor will always help you find the answer with their tools and experience.
The Benefits of a Traditional Realtor
Hiring a traditional realtor to buy or sell a home in Colorado Springs is always recommended over an e-commerce real estate site, and there are plenty of valid reasons why.
The first step in hiring a realtor is research. Hiring a local Colorado Springs realtor is beneficial because you may have a friend or family member who can refer you to someone great. You can also check out reviews to see who might be a good fit for you. You don’t have to hire the first realtor you meet, and you can meet with a few before making your decision.
A realtor that has been working in Colorado Springs for a long time will be a massive benefit to your experience. When you meet with your realtor (once you’ve met the one you like or have had coffee with a few and found your favorite), you can expect to give them details about what your needs are, what your wants are, and the areas you’re interested in. A savvy realtor will know the neighborhoods like the back of their hand, and they will know how to find what you’re looking for. When you hire your realtor, you are able to utilize their experience, their network of professionals, and the customer experience. Trulia can’t compete with any of that.
Your realtor will handle all the nitty-gritty of the sale or purchase for you. They will negotiate for you, with your approval, and they will always work to get you the best price. The commission is a percentage of the sale, so this will be a top priority for them.
They will let you know where you can browse listings that will be more up to date and accurate than anything Trulia can provide.
Do away with Trulia
So, should you use Trulia to buy or sell a home in Colorado Springs? The short answer is no. There is a good reason why traditional realtors are still a viable and stable career choice. E-commerce and the internet have overtaken so many industries and helped make things extremely convenient for us. Again, a traditional realtor brings too much value to the table that can’t be replaced by an algorithm. They have tools, a network of professionals, the drive, and the personal touches that Trulia just can’t compete with. In theory, Trulia is a great idea, but until they iron out their issues, a traditional realtor will always be the way to go.