Are online listings bad for real estate?

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Patty Burnaman | WWL First News

Realtors are almost unanimous in their opinion of real estate websites like Zillow: they don’t like them.  Zillow describes itself as a real estate marketplace, putting the data base of residential properties at your fingertips, making it unnecessary to first go to an agent for access to the multiple listing service of properties available. 

While most realtors think this digital marketplace is taking them out of the process, Wade Ragas, Director of Real Estate Market Data center disagrees.

“These websites are just another form of advertising,” said Ragas. “The sale will always be a personal contact item.”

Some realtors see these websites as a threat, Ragas says they are just another tool for potential homebuyers to use when shopping for a home. In most cases, a home is the single most expensive thing people ever buy, and there is so much more to home buying than access to listings.  

Ragas sees these websites more as a tool for the potential buyer, not a threat to the realtor:“This is just another medium to tell people about the product that is for sale and why it is attractive.  I have seen no effect on the real estate market so far.”