Zillow can not do the things that real estate agents do for their clients. Only local agents have full access to the MLS database, as well as the inside track on homes that may not be on the market yet. This means that the status of each home will be up-to-date and accurate, as will the asking price.
Real estate agents know their local market and are skilled at determining what will sell quickly, and at what price. They advise sellers on what to fix or update to make the home more inviting, all the while keeping the seller’s time, energy, and financial abilities. Their local network allows them to recommend vendors of all kinds to help get the work done to fix up and stage a home to go on the market. Zillow offers none of these personalized services.
Finding the right agent means working with someone who asks the right questions and comes to understand exactly what a buyer or seller wants and needs. As mentioned in the section above, they will see what makes a home special when they tour it in person. They have the human ability to think creatively and offer suggestions that their clients may not have thought of—and certainly would not have sought out in a Zillow search.
Zillow makes its money through advertising dollars and by generating leads for brokers. When someone clicks a link to learn about a property, they are directed to a local agent anyway. Zillow is fine, and even fun, to browse early in a search. But when it’s time to buy or sell real estate it is best to go straight to the source: a dedicated agent.