EMERYVILLE, Calif., March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ZipRealty, Inc.(http://www.ziprealty.com) (NASDAQ: ZIPR), the leading online residential real estate brokerage company, has released its Listing Check tool, an online feature that allows consumers to easily determine which homes are really for sale in today's fast-moving and competitive real estate market. According to Chief Executive Officer and President Lanny Baker, "The Listing Check tool gives consumers instant verification on the sales status of any home they find online."
In ZipRealty's new Data Quality Report, conducted in conjunction with the release of the Listing Check tool, ZipRealty discovered that prominent real estate websites consistently fail to display a significant number of MLS-listed homes for sale, while also presenting a large number of sold homes as if they were currently for sale. The study results show that up to 30% of MLS listed homes for sale are missing from other real estate websites, and over 15% of the listings on these websites are stale, expired or inactive. In contrast, ZipRealty never includes sold homes in search results, and has an accuracy rate of greater than 99% on MLS listed homes for sale.
"Information completeness, accuracy and timeliness are always important to home buyers," says Mr. Baker. "And, in today's housing market in particular – with increasing prices and a general lack of inventory – relying on a real estate website that might offer incomplete, inaccurate or out-of-date home listings can be a major disadvantage. Choice properties are selling at lightning speed, and home buyers searching on sites with incomplete data can easily miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime: finding and purchasing their dream home," he says.
To help home buyers, ZipRealty analyzed the published home listings databases of ZipRealty and two popular real estate websites in relation to local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) databases in 50 zip codes across 13 major metropolitan areas as part of its Data Quality Report. In the geographic areas studied, more than 99% of all homes accurately listed for sale within the local MLS databases were also accurately listed on ZipRealty's website. There were no listings found on ZipRealty's website or in its database that were not also listed within the MLS records as actively for sale at the time of the study in 2012. On the websites studied, ZipRealty found that over 15% of homes shown for sale were off the market, and up to 30% of homes actually for sale were completely missing.
ZipRealty's Listing Check tool is currently found exclusively on ZipRealty.com. To get started, consumers or agents can enter the property address or MLS number of a desired home into the Listing Check dashboard and click the "Check It" button. ZipRealty's proprietary tool will then determine whether that home is really for sale or not and instantly return all pertinent and available information on that home.
In conjunction with the Listing Check tool, ZipRealty has added new features to provide home buyers with the most accurate and complete listings data on the market.
A prominent "New" designation on the home detail page for all homes listed within the prior three days.
A "Last Updated" time stamp on the home detail page of every listing on ZipRealty.com
ZipRealty.com is updated every two minutes so users will never experience homes that have already been sold being displayed as currently active for sale.
"Finding that perfect home online and then discovering that it's already been sold presents an extremely frustrating scenario to home buyers," says Mr. Baker. "Other major online real estate websites continue to show homes listed as 'for sale' for several days – even weeks – after they have sold, and no home buyer wants to waste time chasing after properties that are already off the market."
"Incorrect and inaccurate listings present an all-too-common and largely unrecognized information problem for consumers seeking advice and guidance," adds Mr. Baker. "Sites that include stale or expired listings, or which fail to remove or indicate properties that have recently sold, wind up with inflated listings counts and misrepresent the true available housing inventory. Those well-advertised raw tallies of 'homes found' in a particular search can be mistaken for database completeness when the underlying listings may in fact be littered with listings that are inactive, expired, sold or otherwise incorrect," he concludes.
About ZipRealty, Inc. ZipRealty is a leading national real estate brokerage and provider of proprietary technology and comprehensive online marketing tools for the residential real estate brokerage industry. For home buyers and sellers who increasingly want control, choice and a seamless, customized service, ZipRealty offers Internet-enabled, state-of-the-art technology and complete access to accurate, timely information via their website and mobile applications, which real estate professionals can combine with their own local knowledge and personal expertise to offer an exceptional start-to-finish client experience. For real estate professionals who seek more productive ways to conduct business, ZipRealty provides technology and online marketing tools to enhance their online sales channel, including lead generation, conversion and service of their clients. ZipRealty's technology and online marketing products serve its full-service, owned-and-operated residential real estate brokerage business in 19 markets nationwide, as well as its Powered by Zip network of leading third-party local brokerages in 15 markets.