Use Trulia and Zillow?

Does anyone in this forums use these real estate finder? Could I use it for wholesaling, etc.
If not, how could we use these services to our advantage (as an investor, bird dog)


I don’t use either of them. You really need better information that they can provide.

While you might be able to locate a deal or two a year off of these sites I wouldn’t use them as a main source of finding deals. They are super cool sites and very well put together by a team of Tech NERDS… Not that I have anything against tech nerds. I am just saying they aren’t Realtors, Investors, Brokers or even Bird Dogs. Generally I will get onto to get a really basic idea of what a property is worth in a certain area. Notice I said a really basic idea and get some sold comps for the area. Generally it is good to see what things are going for in the market. Then I take into consideration about 3 other sources MLS, County Value, and Real Sold Comps. Figure out what the average P.S.F. (Price per Square foot) is Take that times how many square feet the property is and get what the home will sell for in a perfect market A.R.V. (After Repaired Value) Deduct all needed repairs and holding cost’s determined by the D.O.M. (Day’s on Market) of the sold comps, then I deduct Realtor fee’s and look at the spread that I would make and decide if there is enough profit for me to do the deal.

Is it just me or did I go on a wild tangent when I could of just said NO I really don’t use them??

Yeah Ditto on what bluemoon06 said

Thanks for the input! Another thing I noticed is that most of the houses I saw today (I was driving for dollars)
was owned by a realtor, Prudential, bank, etc (saw some signs). I saw a slightly distressed house, but it’s owned by
a realtor… Is it really that hard to be a bird dog? I live in the suburbs of Socal, and
I’m assuming that most of the distressed houses will be located somewhere in LA/downtown area…

I barely have knowledge right now, and is just starting to learn, so pardon for my ignorance.

All you really need to do is figure out a way to beat your competition to the door. Most Investors really don’t want houses that are already listed. They can find those just fine on there own by searching the MLS. Pre-foreclosures and Pre Pre-Foreclosures are what they are seeking. Other then that you will find some motivated sellers that are considering listing or don’t have the equity and just need out. (Short Sales)

You can use them as long as you use other sources as well and get the average of everything. MLS provide the best comps and info

acoleman56 hit it on the head. MLS is the only place that this stuff resides. You need access to it either through a profressional or some other access.

Thanks again! This is a very helpful information.

I get good help from Zillow and Trulia both, even i got great help from active rain too.

Those sites you listed are good depending on what type of information you are trying to obtain. As far as getting accurate property valuations, I believe that Zillow is either a hit or miss. If you are looking to get the previous purchase history, it’s been to my experience that the dates and prices are dead on (as far as personal property details).