Updated 12/28/17; Originally published 3/16/16
As of August 2017, Fort Hood joined the CTXMLS. Syndication to Zillow and Trulia is now up to the brokers uploading the listing.
If you are selling your home in the Fort Hood area, I highly recommend confirming with your broker that your listing will be syndicated to Zillow and Trulia in order to maximize your exposure.
Read more here!
Takeaways Don’t use Zillow or Trulia if you are browsing for homes in the Fort Hood, TX area Use your Realtor’s website search instead I had a client send me a list of about six homes he was hoping to schedule to see. He had found the homes on Zillow. As every agent does, I excitedly took to the MLS to look up the homes, find out info about each, and schedule them to show. To my surprise, the first one was under contract – and had been for over a month. No matter, I checked on the next one. Whoa! It had already sold, five months ago! The next? Sold. Not any of the six were even on the market. Zillow never was the most quickly updated of the online sites, but it had never been this bad.
What’s the deal? In 2015, the Fort Hood Area Association of Realtors (FHAAR) stopped syndicating the MLS to Zillow (and therefore Trulia, whom Zillow bought). Why? I’ve written previously on the war between Zillow and Realtors and where Realtors are trying to take their business back from Zillow. FHAAR joined in the fray by pulling out of Zillow and Trulia. It may sounds like Realtors are just being difficult. Millions of consumers flock to Zillow for their home search – why keep those homes away from them? Personally, I happen to agree. I thinks the Realtor Associations are short sighted and making a mistake by not playing ball with Zillow Group. However what I think doesn’t matter. What matters is that you, as a home buyer, can’t get up-to-date home information from Zillow and Trulia in the Fort Hood area.
Then why are there still listings on Zillow and Trulia in the Fort Hood area? Because listing agents can still manually upload listings to Zillow (and a good listing agent will do that!) The problem is A) many won’t, meaning you wont get a full picture of what’s available on the Fort Hood market. And B) many won’t update the listing when it goes under contract or sells. I’m beginning to see the impact, as with the above story. It seems to me countless homes on Zillow are advertised as for sale even though they sold months ago, because agents aren’t updating the listings. Getting a listing on Zillow is a priority, but after they’ve got it under contract or sold, what does the listing agent care if they’ve dotted their “i”s and crossed their “t”s? Not only that, but while writing this post, I checked on one of my own listings that just went under contract. I had uploaded it to Zillow, and confirmed that it also automatically went up on Trulia. But when I updated it as “under contract” on Zillow, I see it is NOT updated on Trulia – still showing For Sale. So even I have failed to keep my listings updated, it appears.
Where Should I Search Homes? An agent’s website (like mine!) is probably the best. The MLSes do play friendly with other sites still like realtor.com, however there are advantages to working on your agent’s site. For example, you can save listings that you like, set up listing alerts, and use your agent’s resources to help guide the process. Your agent will be able to track that activity and help stay informed in how best to help you. I am always trying to improve my site and home search and hope you find it helpful. If you have feedback or recommendations, please send it (my anonymous website feedback form is at the bottom of the page). In addition, you shouldn’t rely just on website searches. The MLS is one of the best sources for information, but even it is not an exhaustive source. For example, many builders do not put their inventory onto the MLS or online portals like Zillow. To get the best picture of what builders in an area are offering, you need to talk to a Realtor who knows the area.
Conclusion I don’t hate Zillow or Trulia. It’s just a fact that in our area, they no longer have the information that home buyers are searching for. Use another website for your home browsing. If you are searching for homes to buy in the Fort Hood area Realtor, I hope you will consider me! I work hard to understand the Fort Hood market better than anyone so that I can counsel you and ensure you have all the information you need to make the best decisions about your home purchase!