Zillow Unicorns and MLS Monkeys

“Our home has been viewed 1,254 times on Zillow,” the owner told me in his home that had been on the market for 2 months.

He was so confident that of all those shoppers, or at least one of them, was willing to pay $375,000 for their custom home, especially since they just lowered the price $15,000.

In his mind, Zillow was a unicorn and it was going to make his dreams come true. I politely shook hands and thanked him for his time and left.  I knew there was no convincing him that unicorns didn’t exist and that monkeys are better.

When you list your home on Zillow, Zillow promises exposure and even seems to prove this by showing you that “X number of shoppers have saved your home” and “X number of people have viewed your home” throughout the duration of the listing.  Essentially, this is how they market:


What also helps Zillow is that many people don’t know or understand what the “MLS” even is.  Simply put, MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service and it is a tool that licensed real estate professionals are allowed to access and use because they are licensed to practice real estate in their local areas.  They [we] have attended classes, taken exams, and obtained a license.  We also continue to pay many fees and invest in mandatory further education to maintain this status blah blah blah.

Think of the MLS as your localized Facebook Marketplace that only professionals can post to and utilize for searching.

But FORGET ALL THAT.  Seriously, you probably don’t care.

This is what you care about.

If you have something to sell, don’t you want the MOST people to see it that could ACTUALLY buy it?

When you publish a home for sale on Zillow, it stays on Zillow.  You rely on people searching Zillow to find it.  But they could be in Australia.  Because it’s the internet and they might really like your decoration style and want to save it for later.

When you publish a home for sale on your local MLS, you are opening up the search to people who are actually looking in your area and are most likely working with a Real Estate Agent who has them on an auto search and they will get an email INSTANTLY.   Listings on MLS also publish to Zillow, not the other way around. Only real estate professionals can list on the MLS so every one on there is legit.

Here is a good way to look at it if the circles represent your local market…


Yea.  I’d go with the Monkey over the Unicorn.

Join The Discussion

Compare listings