Although I can understand why big-box portals like Zillow and Trulia are so popular, they share one major issue. These portal sites are also known as “syndicated websites.”
Portal sites are not provided with listings data directly from local MLS boards. Portal sites receive the listing data in a syndicated format. Local REALTORS sites have direct MLS access. This is what it means and why it is this important to you.
My biggest complaint is that national portal sites often have out-of-date information. Sometimes consumers may search Zillow for a home they like and then find out that they sold it days ago. The portal site may still display the home for sale, but the information is incorrect. Why is this?
It is best to think of it as a logistical matter. You can update each listing on every US market through the national portal sites. They also have the ability to do so in other countries like Canada. Imagine the number of resources required to update every listing in every country every 15 minutes. It would be almost impossible. It is almost impossible, in fact. Large portal sites can have data delays that can sometimes prove frustrating to consumers.
Local REALTOR websites are updated every 15 minutes via a direct MLS feed. Let’s take, for example, a home marked “under contract” by the MLS five seconds ago. The newest update of local REALTOR websites will display the “under contract status” within 15-30 minutes, depending on the most recent data update cycle.
I suggest that you find a local REALTOR website you like to use for your home search and then stick with it. A site with a direct MLS feed will always provide you with the most current information and listings.