Brokerage websites Redfin and Windermere commissioned a study by the WAV Group, a national consultancy specializing in real estate technology, to determine whether local brokerage websites do a better job than national real estate portals at providing accurate listings. The study, which analyzed 6,401 home listings in 11 major U.S. cities, showed that the local sites have 20 percent more real estate listings, seven to nine days faster than Zillow and Trulia, and attributed tangible figures to an oft-heard homebuyer complaint: incorrect listings on national real estate portals.
"A lot of times it would happen that people would fall in love with a home and then realize it had gone under contract or had already been sold," Redfin's Rachel Musiker told us. What's more, it can take new listings a week or longer to show up on national sites—an issue when, in some instances, houses are going under contract in as little as 14 days.
While they're pleased that the results skewed in their favor, real estate specialists at Redfin aren't surprised. "This [study] isn't really news to real estate agents," says Musiker. "Because we're a brokerage as opposed as a portal that gets data through third parties or relies on agents to update listings, we've always known our data is correct."
In the Philadelphia area, the study showed, listings provided by Redfin and Long and Foster are 100 percent accurate, whereas Trulia displayed invalid (pending, sold, or off-market) listings at a rate of 9 percent. The brokerage sites also work quickly in terms of listing time: In the Philadelphia area, the median delay between when homes were listed in the MLS and when they appeared on Long and Foster and Redfin was zero days, while the median delay for Trulia was nine days.
Despite the study's findings, Musiker doesn't suggest you sidestep the national portals altogether. "Homebuyers are lucky because there's so much information out there on the Internet to use," she says. "The biggest mistake a homebuyer can make is to not use all of the resources available to them."