Zillow is Testing Selling Homes for Free From Their Site

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Well, it was bound to happen.  I mean why not?  The real estate industry is providing Zillow with their listings and sending and sending them 100’s of millions of dollars to fund their agenda which is to allow people to sell their home directly through Zillow.  Is anyone surprised.



  • It does absolutely astound me that the MLS allows listings on Zillow for free on top of the fact that idiot agents pay for leads from a company trying to make them extinct. Make them pay for MLS info and agents quit paying them for leads and they’re nutured. They’ll have to start charging FSBOs to list on site see how well that will go. Their main revenue is the realtor.

    Scott May 24, 2017 4:08 am Reply
    • I agree that “REALTORS” have got to stop paying Zillow for leads! We, REALTORS also need to tell our clients how Zillow execs have come out in favor of elimination of the current mortgage-interest tax deduction. Zillow is not our friend!

      Wes Garton May 25, 2017 11:33 am Reply
  • I’ve been thinking this for years. Why are we working so diligently to list and market properties only to have the “Zillow”‘s out there having access to all of our information. So now you have clearly answered my question.

    Carole Estok May 24, 2017 4:25 am Reply
  • Why is Zillow the lion and the National Board of Realtors not?
    Action speaks louder than words.
    Diligent in taking our dues than be diligent in taking the fight
    and make them take flight.

    Russell Allen May 24, 2017 5:28 am Reply
  • Yes! It has to be the area MLS that stops the feed… not individual real estate companies. It won’t work unless the MLS does not contribute the info to Zillow. So the members need to vote that through!! But the members need an OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE.

    Liz Wilkerson May 24, 2017 6:03 am Reply
  • This is eerily similar to the “no agent representation” companies that charge you for placing your home on MLS, but offer no services/representation, after they have receive an offer. The Sellers are left to fend for themselves without the proper guidance nor tools, to negotiate with a seasoned agent.

    David Barton May 24, 2017 6:04 am Reply
  • Realtors should not support NAR. They do not support Realtors

    Dan Rogers May 24, 2017 6:08 am Reply
  • Not surprised at all. This has been coming for quite sometime. We as Realtors have done absolutely nothing to protect our own industry. Our inventory needs to be pulled off of the internet, we need to go back to the days where our multiple listing service served us and only us. Someone had better start trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

    Horace May 24, 2017 6:17 am Reply
  • Realtors should not support NAR Till NAR supports Realtors

    Dan Rogers May 24, 2017 6:24 am Reply
    • Exactly, Dan. The entire MLS system is antiquated and has needed revamping for a while. It’s hardly surprising that Zillow is going to take advantage of the situation.In the UK it’s very different, and the US hasn’t gotten with the program.
      Realtor’s have paid into the system with their training, expertise and money, yet that hasn’t grabbed NAR’s attention to attempt to halt Zillow’s increasing power. From the onset, Zillow has been a tool that has taken away a Realtor’s tools- and it’s very often inaccurate- yet the general public sees it on the internet and instantly whatever is in black and white is believed. I believe it’s too far entrenched at this point – too bad all those mega-millions that Realtor’s have paid into the system have laid to waste to protect us!

      Marilyn Haegele June 9, 2017 5:33 am Reply
  • Reminds me of appraisers and AMCs. Just say, “NO!”

    Michael Imes May 24, 2017 6:38 am Reply
  • It looks like the 9% service fee is Zillow’s way of rewarding their “Wall Street Investors” who are either Brokers (or using a 3rd party Brokers license) a full 7% commission AND making the seller pay 2% closing costs.

    Brad Zimmerman May 24, 2017 7:01 am Reply
  • Didn’t Realtor’s get compensated for Zilow stealing our secrets? DOn’t forget the dirt bags get paid for mortgage broker’s without adhering to the CFPB and Dodd Frank because they said they were ONLY an adversing media. Cannot have it both ways> Anyone up to filing a class action lawsuit?????

    Gary J Heinecke May 24, 2017 7:35 am Reply
  • Must you really keep showing animals getting eaten and kittens being juggled? Just not necessary to make your point.

    Marlene Wiegand May 24, 2017 8:03 am Reply
  • When friends or colleagues say, “look at this new cool ‘thing’ and it’s ‘free’”, I always respond, nothing’s free, what is their agenda?
    Realtors, as a national association, have done a horrific job understanding the value of their listing information and a horrible job of making Realtor.com the go to site for consumers (NAR’s selling the rights to operate Realtor.com to Move Inc. was another incredibly short sited mistake, we retained less than $2mil in licensing fees while the operating company makes hundreds of millions a year.).
    We as Realtors give our listing information away for free to Zillow and other sites. We are dumb asses. We have created a market cap in Zillow of $5,250,000,000.00, 5.25 billion dollars. There are ~2million Realtors. Divide 5.25bn/2mill = $262,500.00 per Realtor. Where’s your share for helping create this multi-billion dollar company?
    When consumers think real estate, they should then think Realtor, however, most think Zillow.. what the heck is a Zillow?
    Next time someone wants to offer you something for free, make sure you aren’t freeing yourself out of a career.

    Nathan May 24, 2017 8:34 am Reply
  • they learned this from the government, they do nothing for us, and we pay them to do nothing, and if we don’t pay them to do nothing, we go to jail.

    Butter May 24, 2017 8:41 am Reply
  • Yes, I agree!! Why are we giving our greatest asset, our listings to Zillow so they can sell referrals back to us!!!!!!!! From this day forward, I will never put any of my listings into Zillow’s clutches. ( Our MLS gives the agent an option, if we dont’t want Zillow or anyone else we CAN opt out.) Agents, WAKE UP!!! You are being lead to the slaughter.

    Robert Kroon May 24, 2017 9:16 am Reply
    • It’s not YOUR asset. It is the sellers asset.

      George smith May 24, 2017 9:25 am Reply
    • The crux of the problem is such a large percentage of consumers go to zillow for their listings. By not putting our listings on zillow, we’re doing our sellers a disservice by not giving their home peak exposure. NAR needs to guide the public away from third party sites and directly to our own databases in order to prevent them from taking our jobs.

      Del Schmidt May 24, 2017 9:39 am Reply
  • When a market moves a house in days vs. Weeks or months, but realtors charge the same amount for marketing. Maybe that’s why sellers are looking for other ways.

    George smith May 24, 2017 9:17 am Reply
  • I’ve been against this for several years. If NAR doesn’t get the message and fight back on this matter, the Real Estate Boards are going to have to. We’ve been allowing these companies to take our listings, and provide them with all our property information, just to have them sell it back to whom ever will pay for it. Now they feel like they’re big enough to take over the industry. I say it’s time to sever our relationships with Zillow/Trulia. I hope NAR is listening, and I am anxious to see what they will do.

    Roger Lain May 24, 2017 9:42 am Reply
  • Any good business/personal transaction needs/requires/benefits from proper representation. I think Zillow will attract a good portion of the market (at first) but I also think that more responsible sellers will be inclined the use of a real estate agent. This is similar to the website LegalZoom that offers discounted prices for patent filings, Wills and Trusts. I think it will be a very defined market.

    I also anticipate that the investors’ offers will be low-ball offers and eventually sellers will realize it. And it depends on how much 6% means to the buyer too. Is the offer going to be below that threshold – maybe/probably/most-likely.

    Miguel May 24, 2017 11:57 am Reply
  • I predict massive fraud, scams and illegal transactions will kill this. A few lawsuits may make Zillow reconsider their plans while making the use of local real estate agents more appealing to buyers and sellers.

    Cynthia Zimmerman May 25, 2017 3:38 am Reply
  • Does anyone else find it interesting that there are only 15 major investors who are allowed to bid on the properties? So it’s not an open purchase at all. What does that lead to if 15 investors are able to obtain huge discounts on purchases by eliminating agent fees, and begin to accumulate even larger blocks of properties?

    grace May 25, 2017 6:32 am Reply
  • WE AGENTS need to stop giving access through MLS.
    Check the box in listing agreement.

    Hajia Zafar May 25, 2017 8:56 am Reply
  • Adding to the Tim Lass comment: The agents that fail are people who don’t have a successful sales background and who think that real estate agents aren’t sales people and therefore they don’t need to learn sales skills. A very high percentage of people who get into real estate don’t have a business background so they don’t understand the basics of marketing, they don’t understand even basic sales skills, presentation techniques, etc., they don’t understand contracts, they don’t know much of anything about the product they are selling (houses), and they think that putting up a website is going to bring in all the business they can handle. If you don’t think you are a salesperson then don’t become a Realtor! And then make sure you invest in learning the art of sales, marketing, negotiations, contracts, and house construction! Far too many Designated Brokers are willing to take on people who have no directly applicable skills and then hope for the best. They offer training but too few of these newbies take advantage of it because they don’t see themselves as sales people and the Broker can’t really force them to take the training. We have far too many agents who have a tiny breadth of knowledge (enough to pass the State/Federal tests) but no real depth of knowledge. That is a disservice to our industry but most importantly a disservice to the Buyers and Sellers!

    Mr. Krispy May 25, 2017 10:46 am Reply
  • Thank you for doing a piece on this! Without exaggeration, this issue literally deserves to be the very top priority of every agent and broker in the industry.

    How on earth we allowed our Boards to hijack our proprietary information and open pandora’s box is simply incomprehensible. What the heck did we think would happen?! The class action suit mentioned above should not be toward Zillow… but rather our own frickin representation.

    I would happily send financial support to anyone willing to lead this charge, and I would urge each of us to influence every colleague and associate we have to do the same, consolidating our efforts to take back our listings.

    And for that matter… invest in our own technology to make a search friendly tool to compete with the likes of Zillow, Redfin, etc.

    Seth Chalnick May 25, 2017 12:50 pm Reply
  • I used to have an independent bookstore, I did my best to convince the American Booksellers Association to form a Buying co-op and go online. When I brought them the detailed plan “HometownBookstore.com” they pretty much stole the idea and made it too expensive for their members. At the time they still had 10,000 members, in just a few years they had less than 4,000. I feel like NAR is worse than the ABA! They spend a lot of time and money on governmental issues and not nearly enough on being competitive in today’s market. Hope they see this

    Barry A Blake May 25, 2017 12:54 pm Reply
  • If we don’t protect our listing information which we work hard to get and protect the realtor brand by having mls listings only on our idx sites we will be out of business in the next three to five years. We need to as a national association have a vote and have our mls’s follow suit if we decide to have our listing proprietary to realtor sites only. If listed homes were only on real estate only sites and idx sites at least zillow would have to join a board, get a broker and follow the rules. Until that day anyone complaining and not doing nothing about it is part of the problem. All these agents just think they can put ads anywhere to try to find people is the problem. Make the Realtor brand and all that we do with our experience more valuable they will come to our sites to buy homes. That’s what we need to do with our data.

    Tom May 25, 2017 1:09 pm Reply
  • I haven’t had time to read all of these comments, but I’ll bet most of them state how indispensable realtors are. Who cares? Do you think the average home seller cares? No. You are over priced taxi drivers. This can be accomplished at a much cheaper cost then 6% of the homes price. Your days are numbered. There will still be some realtors for sure, but not every other person will have a real estate license.

    Mike May 25, 2017 2:25 pm Reply
  • What realtors must realize is that – at least here in Las Vegas – the MLS or the Board or does not dictate if zillow or any of the 3rd party portal get our data – the BROKER does. The Board could theoretically take a vote of their membership and see if the members want to “opt out” from sending the feed to the portals. But in reality what listing agent will want to tell their Seller that their property will NOT be promoted on these 3rd party sites like Zillow? Not a great chat to have when you are trying to secure a listing. But lets just pretend that an MLS or Board does decide NOT to syndicate their data – “their data” is the data of the broker of each brokerage – do you really think if your MLS or Board stopped syndication that the big Franchises would? I don’t think so – the big Franchises would just send the “feed” to zillow directly like many do now. So, this is a mess to say the least!!! Stay tuned for more…..

    Tim Kelly Kiernan May 25, 2017 7:53 pm Reply
  • this should be a real wake up call to all real estate agents.They were never our friend.This should not come as a big surprise, its been coming for years!!

    Tom Flippin May 26, 2017 12:25 pm Reply
  • Well I think if Zillow wants to go in this direction then we go in the direction of not supplying them our listings any longer. No more IDX. We need to stick together on this thou. Our Associations can stop our mls from providing that information for them to download and NAR needs to step up and make some rules that protect us better and go to bat legally and stop this. Protect the consumer to. They don’t know they need protecting but they do.
    Vicki Johns

    Vicki Johns May 31, 2017 2:50 pm Reply
  • Are we waking up too late??? NAR should not support Zillow. Zillow needs not to have access to our MLS which is our bread and butter. When Zillow puts up bad pictures, or not all the pictures, who do the Sellers call-‘Us!” But I can’t imagine realtors sticking together as one huge powerful group! Everyone listened when we marched on the Monument that year!!!

    Faye Emerson May 31, 2017 4:07 pm Reply
  • All someone needs to do is to post some big news about unhappy or sued sellers going through zillow to scare the public. I’m sure it won’t be a shortage of such sellers or fsbo anyways.

    Sem June 15, 2017 9:59 am Reply
    • So……your suggestion to fight the over 9 million clicks per day that Zillow gets is to post some news about a lawsuit in Tucumcari, NM?? Not going to be relevant or relatable to someone in Washington DC my friend. The net is a HUGE pool and you are going to drop a leaf in and hope it makes waves??
      Why not take the money you pay Zillow for leads and build your own personal Zillow. The net offers you the very same tools and opportunity to reach the over 9 Million daily users of Zillow, without paying them. Want to know how? email me and lets chat. We teach realtors to fish, we dont feed them.
      We need a sign: DO NOT FEED THE REALTORS!! They will become lazy and extinct if they loose touch with how to feed themselves.

      Todd Mason June 26, 2017 4:15 am Reply

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