This morning I received a phone call from a homeowner who was stunned to learn that her home was for sale. Neither she nor her husband had signed any listing agreement, had authorized any advertising or had taken any action that would indicate they had placed their home on the market for sale.
Yet there it sits this morning on both Zillow and Trulia.
How? Because of an online flyer that was syndicated automatically to these two websites. A flyer that was created in the summer of 2006 and contains not only the list price from way back when but the contact information for an agent who hasn’t been hired by these owners to sell their home, partially because they’re my clients and more importantly because the home isn’t for sale.
Even though this home isn’t for sale, the sale listing has been viewed by a couple dozen people on Zillow and presumably about the same number on Trulia. To the folks who are searching online, either to augment their agent’s efforts or to supplant us silly, needless middlemen, this home appears to be for sale (albeit at a 2006 appropriate price.)
So how do you view this? Is this simply a minor hiccup caused by the automation of real estate listings and the aggregators’ methodology of accumulating listings that aren’t being submitted directly (or culled from the MLS a la REALTOR.com?) Or is this more sinister, an infringement on the rights of an individual homeowner to not have their home being promoted as for sale when it’s not?[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]