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A lot of buyers these days use Zillow to search for homes. Whether you’re a serious buyer or are just casually browsing the website, there are a few things you need to know about Zillow.

First, Zillow makes money by selling your information to agents and Realtors. This surprising fact is something many people don’t know. If you’ve been looking around at homes on Zillow, don’t be shocked if you get a call from a real estate professional.

The second thing you should know about using Zillow is that many of the homes listed on the website are already under contract or even sold. Zillow’s data is not updated in real time. There’s a very real chance that if you find a home you love in Zillow, you could contact a Realtor only to discover it’s already off the market.

Listing alerts are also delayed. You aren’t going to get real-time listing alerts using Zillow like you would from the MLS. Let’s say you’re looking in a hot market where homes move fast. When Zillow alerts you to a home that’s been listed in your area, you need to realize that home may have already been on the market for days. In fact, the home may even have already found a buyer.

The bottom line is this: Listing alerts from the two MLSs in the Metro Atlanta area are still the best sources of information. When my team and I set you up on a listing alert, you’ll get access to properties that aren’t even on the market yet. These off-market properties are a great opportunity since they don’t bring the same competition as other properties in a hot market.

If you are interested in setting up listing alerts with us, have any other questions, or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.