Zillow or Trulia? MLS or IDX? Mobile or Laptop?
Searching online for a home is either easy or confusing, depending on where you sit. The explosion of sites dedicated to online search means the information on homes for sale is now largely within reach of the public and no longer guarded by Realtors. But with so many options it can become overwhelming and confusing (see the chart below)
Here is what each search site offers:
IDX – RichmondVAMLSSearch is an ‘IDX Based’ search site. IDX (stands for Internet Data eXchange) is a direct feed from the local MLS and, aside from MLS, will have the most accurate information about homes for sale. IDX sites do not contain information on sold or pending properties. IDX sites are usually updated within about 24 hours so new listings usually hit IDX sites within a day or two from when they are entered into MLS.
Trulia and Zillow – Trulia and Zillow do NOT get their information from MLS. Agents must electively choose to have their properties placed into MLS. Additionally, as paid advertising sites, listings can be featured and results skewed by how much an agent is willing to pay to have their listings promoted. It should also be noted that the rules for fair and accurate information which govern the MLS do not govern Trulia and Zillow…so availability, accuracy on property pricing/size/age/etc. are all highly questionable on Trulia/Zillow. Studies have shown anywhere 30-40% of the information in Trulia and Zillow to be incorrect. Trulia and Zillow do provide data on sold properties which they pull mostly from Tax Records, which also lag by 60+ days and have their own integrity issues.
MLS Client Portal – The MLS Client Portal is a direct link to the local MLS and can only be set up by an agent. MLS Client Portals give our clients the same information as we have and give it to the client in real time. If you are serious about your search, the Portal is the only way to go.
Which Search Source is Best?
We think the answer is obvious.