Back in September, we beta launched Trulia Estimates, a tool that estimates the worth of off-market homes and helps consumers understand market trends. We’ve received tons of positive feedback about how this provides a useful starting point for understanding home prices and informs decisions about buying, selling, refinancing and renovating. So we’re psyched to announce that Trulia Estimates will now be available nationwide for more than 50 million off-market homes, townhomes and condos in nearly 500 counties.
Let’s take a quick walk through a live example. We’ll claim a property as a homeowner, update the home’s public profile, make sure it’s accurate and complete, and then check out the Trulia Estimate.
On our new homepage, if you’re in an area where Trulia Estimates are available, you’ll see an option to search for your home. Just enter your address and we’ll take you directly to the public profile for your house.
When you get there, you’ll see a Trulia Estimate prominently displayed near the top of the page. As a homeowner, you can claim the property and update the public profile by adding more home features. You can also correct any inaccurate or outdated info, which helps us provide a more accurate estimate.
Here’s how: Under “Edit Home Facts,” select the option to “Claim This Home.”
At this point, you’ll register or login to Trulia — this helps to ensure only true homeowners are making property edits. Just confirm some contact information and you’ll get a verification email, at which point you can edit public facts about your home.
This is where you can add or edit your home’s characteristics. The more data we have, the more accurate the Trulia Estimate will be. Once you’re satisfied with the details you’ve provided, click “Recalculate Estimate” and we’ll update it in real-time. Publish the edits to your home’s public profile so it’s up-to-date, and you’re good to go!
When you’re finished, you have the opportunity to provide feedback on our Trulia Estimate. Tell us: was it too low, too high, or just about right? You can also submit your own estimate with an explanation — maybe your home has unique features or there are new comparable sales in the area that we should consider.
Keep in mind that while Trulia Estimates are a great starting point for consumers, these estimates do not replace the valuable expertise and local market knowledge provided by real estate professionals. On each page, you have the option to contact a real estate agent to get a professional estimate based on local comps, active listings, price trends and other factors. Connect with a real estate pro to get the real inside scoop on your home and local area.
In the meantime, we’ll be working hard to make Trulia Estimates available for more homes, in more areas, based on richer data. To see the complete list of areas where estimates are available today, click here!1 comment
There are a few facts and figures in Edina’s official statement about removing listings from Trulia that we’d like to clear up.
While Trulia respects Edina’s decision to remove their listings from our site, we don’t believe this decision helps agents working for Edina, sellers who are listing their homes with Edina or buyers searching for homes in the Minnesota, Wisconsin and the North Dakota area. Here are some of the facts:
More important than how Edina’s decision impacts their agents is how negatively it impacts their clients. By removing listings from the top three sites – Trulia, Realtor and Zillow – Edina has chosen to dramatically decrease Internet exposure for their sellers. This will result in fewer inquiries about Edina’s listings and more days on the market for the seller. In the modern real estate market where most buyers start their home search online, brokerages that do not attempt to reach the largest online audience possible are not helping their sellers reach the most buyers possible. Without broad online exposure, sellers may choose to work with other brokerages who provide complete syndication to leading sites.
Lastly, one of Trulia’s top priorities is to provide highly accurate listing information to consumers. In our recent study on listing data quality, we found that 69% of inaccurate data on major sites comes third-party syndicators. While Trulia does receive data from these sources, our algorithms select the highest quality source of listing data to display on our site. When available, we always display higher quality listing data sent directly from MLSs or Brokerages, like Edina, instead of poorer quality data from third party syndicators.
Although we think that Edina is making the wrong choice by removing their listings from the top real estate sites, we hope they’ll reconsider the benefits they’re losing as part of this decision. We’ve had brokerages do this before and we’ve seen them come back within a matter of weeks. Feel free to reach out to us if you have questions.0 comments
One of the most common complaints from consumers and real estate professionals about searching for homes online is that many online property listings have out-of-date or incorrect data. Most frequently, basic listing information like price and status are incorrect. This past March, Trulia launched Trulia Direct Reference to help solve this problem. After evaluating the data quality of more than 1.2M listings received from more than 250 data sources, we’ve identified the primary sources for erroneous online listing data.
The need for this analysis arose after we surveyed approximately 1000 consumers and real estate professionals about the online home search experience. Both groups agreed that their primary concern with online real estate is the quality of the listings. Most complaints about online listings revolved around the status of listings being outdated (e.g. pending) or the price often being incorrect.
Trulia compared more than 1.2 million listings received from various sources against MLS Data, and found more than 69 percent of the errors stemmed from 3rd party syndicators of non-MLS data. All other industry feeds when combined only accounted for 31% of the listing errors Trulia receives in its feeds.
Out of more than 120k listing inaccuracies, we found the following: 51 percent contained price errors, 41 percent contained status errors and 8% contained both. Through our Direct Reference program, Trulia has been able to identify these errors and notify brokers, agents and MLS’s about the data sources they should consider correcting. Trulia Direct Reference provides the ability to identify where the errors are originating and then the information to correct them at the source.
The results from this study show that MLS’s have the potential to significantly reduce the proliferation of erroneous listing data when they syndicate listings directly on behalf of all their members.
If you would like to learn more about how you can participate in Trulia Direct Reference and directly syndicate your listings to Trulia, please contact us at Truliadirect@trulia.com
(To download a PDF copy of this report, click here.)1 comment
Today, Trulia announced the launch of Instant Leads, a new Twilio-powered functionality that allows agents to instantly connect to home buyers and sellers using their mobile phones while they’re on-the-go.
Trulia Instant Leads provides instant lead notification to real estate professionals, either via SMS or a live call, helping agents connect with more potential clients and drive more transactions. If the lead provides a phone number, the agent receives an automatic call from Trulia, connecting both parties live on a call. If the lead does not provide a phone number, or the agent cannot answer the phone at the time, the agent receives a SMS text message with the consumer’s contact information for follow-up.
With Trulia Instant Leads, agents have an opportunity for first mover’s advantage in responding to leads, increasing their chances of converting those leads into clients. Consumers often submit multiple inquiries while they’re performing an online search for properties, which makes a quick response time the single most important opportunity for agents to earn the consumer’s business. Instant Leads allows agents to catch the consumer at the peak of interest—while they’re still searching online and near a phone.
“Using Twilio, we’ve built what we believe to be a one-of-a-kind powerful service that gives agents the opportunity to respond quickly to consumer’s inquiries, meet more clients and close more transactions,” said Georg Gerstenfeld, VP of Business Services at Trulia. “Twilio’s technology has allowed Trulia to create instant connections between consumers and real estate professionals. When consumers get a quick response, it allows agents to build more relationships with potential clients.”
As we jump right into the new year, Trulia is happy to report that we’ve closed out 2010 with a bang as the fast-growing site in the real estate category. Thanks to a slew of new product innovations and user-experience enhancements – such as Rental Search, Trulia Mobile and Trulia Local Ads, to name a few – Trulia’s market share jumped by 70%, the biggest gain of all the leading national real estate sites, according to Hitwise.
In fact, more than 89 million unique visitors accounted for more than 570 million property views. On average, that’s 47.5 million a month, 10.9 million a week, 1.5 million a day, 65,068 an hour and 1,084 every single minute!
Other notable successes Trulia achieved in 2010 include:
To see all our 2010 achievements, check out the full press release (click here).
PC, a home buyer from San Francisco, California, asked last weeks most viewed question on Trulia Voices - Buyer’s Rebate? PC wants to learn how agents determine how much of a rebate they offer and what the “typical” rebate offered is. With 30 comments thus far, lets see what our community thought?
Steve Ornellas is a real estate agent with Steven Anthony Real Estate & Financial Svcs in Fremont, California who said, ” Hi Pc, what is typical is that Buyer’s Agents do not rebate commissions; at least those that offer full service. Why? Well, would you choose a heart surgeon based on his rebate? Perhaps a stretch in comparing two professions, however, useful to make a point.”
Lance King, the Founder and Managing Broker for Fixed Rate Properties, Inc. in San Francisco, California said, ” First, there is no “standard” metric for a rebate program. Second, you can ask an agent for whatever you want, but it is the Managing Broker who makes the decision to cut commissions, not the agent. Most companies who do not have a rebate program in place are very reluctant to do this…….”
Jed Lane is a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker and publisher of Fog City Guide in San Francisco, California who said, “There is no such thing as a buyers rebate. Any agent that can’t negotiate their own income successfully is not capable and should not be allowed to represent the principal as a fiduciary. If a buyer or seller wants to work with a fee for service model so that they can pick and choose from a menu what services they want or do not want that is a vastly different business model.
If you expect an agent to be your fiduciary and deliver every aspect of agency then negotiate up front. And I say again that any agent that you can best in straight up negotiation you shouldn’t want as you fiduciary. A case in point. I saved my clients $55,000 in negotiation and when asked why I responded simply it’s my job. Cost me $1,650 but I represent the principal not myself. So think about how good I’d be negotiating for your money when I can’t negotiate for my own.
Simple answer to your question $0.”
Nova, a home buyer in Sunnyvale, California said, “50% is the least you can get with a very good realtor. Just post a message here on trulia that you are looking for such an agent and many people who are saying it’s not possible will rush to reply you.
Not only is the market tough right now, but also things have changed quite a log. Most of the info is online and buyer does (and would better do) most of the work finding house himself.”
Jackie Cuneo is a real estate agent with Zephyr Real Estate in the Dolores Park area in California said, “If you’re purchasing your first home for $600,000, would you rather have: An inexperienced agent who will give you 50% of 2.5% buyer’s commission = $7500 one time or An experienced agent who can successfully negotiate a lower price, seller credit, and/or match you with a mortgage broker who will aggressively hunt for a great rate for you?
5% price savings on purchase (common these days) = $30,000 + interest savings on this loan $$ or 3% seller credit toward closing costs (allowed by nearly all lenders) = $18,000 and/or a 1/4 percent lower rate on a $480,000 loan = $100 per month of interest saved.
Of course, if you have a relative in the business who will rebate some or all of his/her commission, that’s great. If they’re skilled enough to negotiate some or all of the other concessions mentioned here, even better.”
Most states permit real estate rebates – it doesn’t mean that all agents are offering them. What’s important to keep in mind is the quality of service, representation and negotiation that your agent can provide you. A new agent who is just getting his feet wet in the business could offer you x amount of a rebate just to get his pipeline going. Whereas a seasoned real estate agent who has accumulated the knowledge and experience to become a great negotiator may not offer a rebate. Their value lies in their negotiation skills and deep understanding of how to make a deal. They may end up negotiating a better deal than and agent who just offers a rebate. Can consumers get the best of both worlds? Sure. You just have to negotiate. As some have said, you get what you pay for.4 comments
In this weeks most viewed Trulia Voices Q&A post, Mindy from Virginia Beach asks, “Will the house prices in VA Beach go back to 2001-02?” With 21 answers thus far, our community has provided some very insightful feedback to Mindy’s question about home prices in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Alvin, a real estate agent from Viginia Beach said, “Hi Mindy, doubt that low…I think we have flat lined, and will now move over to the more traditional/historical gains of 2-5% annually…but of course everyone has their opinions!”
Drew Hitt, a real estate Investor from Virginia Beach says, “Absolutely not. The only way that would be possible would be a complete financial collapse of all the nations banks at once. The government came in and prevented a global collapse here. We’re still not seeing prices of late 2005! At least it depends on what price range you are seeing. Under 250k, you’re sitting pretty. I wouldn’t say you’ll have appreciation, but you’ll be protected for the most part.
Got a house over $275k in Virginia beach and you will probably see a value decrease. Some dropping to 2005 prices, but financing is still low and more affordable housing is still in demand.
Hypothetically if you saw prices drop to 2001 levels while rents stayed high, you wouldn’t see properties for sale, landlords would buy them all up, which would increase demand and inflate prices. So no we will not see 2001 prices……
Real estate agent Timothy Jenkins from Hampton Roads, Virginia said, “The national averages point to prices currently being around summer of 2004 levels. We are still well above that point. Here is how sales price per square foot has trended over the last 7 years in a typical, non-new construction subdivision in Virginia Beach… June 01 – June 02 $76, 02-03 $83, 03-04 $99, 04-05 $128, 05-06 $145, 06-07 $162, 07-08 $15″
Bill Byrd, a real estate agent from Virginia Beach said, “Great question Mindy! That’s a question we actually hear a lot! Prices have already come back quite a bit in most neighborhoods but the truth of the matter is that with lots of inventory, great interest rates and a stable local economy and real estate market locally. This is actually one of the best times to buy that I’ve seen in 21 years in the bz!
The smart money out there is taking advantage of this “move up” market and trading up! What do they say in the stock market “buy on the dips”…well…we’ve got a dip!
Regarding the declining market, we have been in the current shift since August 05 and according to my sources in the mortgage industry we have already seen the worst of the resetting loans here in fact I have been told that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have had VB off the “declining market” status for some time now!”
Jim Dunio, a real estate Agent from Chesapeake, Virginia said, “First let me say I am an optimist and see the glass as half full.There are more positives than negatives in the market. Interest rates are still good,Supply is good,prices of homes are down,Sellers are making concessions (closing costs,repairs,warranties,etc.),The government is offering 1st time home buyers a $7,500.00 tax break.”
Lori Jeltema, a real estate agent from Yorktown, Virginia said, “2001? No, I don’t think so. Take a neighborhood in VABCH and look at sales from 2001. The prices had nearly doubled in some by 2005. At that point, the market should have slowed to a normal growth but didn’t. If prices went back to 2001, the homes that are on the market for $300 now would be closing at $125.”
There are many opportunities out there today for home buyers and home sellers are adjusting to the local market conditions. With all that is happening in the current housing and financial markets, there is no better time than now to use a local real estate agent to help guide you through the home buying or home selling process. As illustrated by many of the answers given, local agents have their pulse on the Virginia Beach real estate market.8 comments
This weeks top Trulia Voices question from Austin, Texas is pretty timely as it coincides with the recent real estate commission survey by Consumer Reports. “B” is thinking of selling their home and wonders why an agent should get 6% for helping them sell it. B states their home is worth $275k – a figure which has not been substantiated – and @ 6% commission, they would owe $16,500 for the services of a licensed real estate agent. B says this is enough to put their child through one year of school. Since all commissions are negotiable, as a real estate agent, how do you validate your time, effort, expertise and knowledge to potential home buyers and sellers?
Let’s take a look at what our community members had to say about this:
Russell Lewis, a real estate agent from Austin, Texas was the first to answer and he said, “I do understand your reluctance and somewhat distrustful attitude because there are plenty of people in real estate industry who do not perform up to professional standards. On the other hand there are many full times professional who work diligently every day to earn every dollar for their services along with many satisfied customers who are glad they employed a real estate agent to help them with what (for most) is the single most important investment of their lives”
Austin real estate agent, Carol Anne Pease said, “That might cover one year at UT and they won’t negotiate on tuition. Good point though. Interview several realtors before you decide to put your home on the market. Find out what your are getting for 6%. Half of that commission goes to the buyer’s agent and that person splits it with their office.”
Austin real estate agent, John Watts asks, “My question to you is: Would you be happy to reduce your salary for the job you perform? This is what you are asking the realtor to do when they also have to pay for all of their expenses, taxes and give a portion their commission to their broker.”
The commission debate has been raging for as long as I can remember. There are arguments on both sides of the coin. Real Estate agents live and breath real estate everyday as opposed to home buyers and sellers who move only every so often. At the end of the day, real estate agents in my opinion, are an essential part of the real estate transaction – and are worth every penny!11 comments