Real estate agents tend to bash Zillow Make Me Move, but is it justified? Or is it just because it cuts them out of a commission and encourages listing FSBO? Read on to learn about the biggest pros and cons of Zillow Make Me Move (“MMM”), and find out why it may – or may not – be a great tool for you.
3 Pros of Zillow Make Me Move
- You don’t have to deal with hiring a real estate agent:
Unlike teachers or doctors, realtors are not loved by the public. In fact, according to the California Association of Realtors, most homeowners wouldn’t recommend the most recent realtor they used to a friend or family member. If you’ve had a not-so-great experience with an agent and are hesitant to hire one to help you sell your home, you can use MMM (or one of a number of other FSBO listing services) to sell without an agent.
- You can test the waters:
Wondering how much interest you’ll get in your home? Want to test out a price point to find out if you’ll get a buyer willing to put in an offer? MMM is one of the only tools out there that can potentially provide you with this feedback without having to go through the process of actually listing your home for sale.
- You don’t have to put a for sale sign in front of your house:
A for sale sign in front of your home is all but guaranteed to instigate questions from friends, family, and neighbors. As soon as that sign appears people will start asking why you’re selling, where you’re moving to and how much you’re listing your home for. Most sellers prefer to avoid being grilled, and with MMM, you largely can.
Cons of Zillow Make Me Move
- Most buyers don’t use Zillow to find a property:
While Zillow is the most popular real estate website in the United States, it is still only used by approximately 20% of buyers. In other words, 8 out of 10 buyers are using sites other than Zillow, and those buyers will never see your home listing if you’re promoting it exclusively on MMM.
- Buyers have to opt in to see your listing:
Unless buyers change the default search parameters set by Zillow, MMM homes and Zillow FSBO homes are omitted from their search results. That means the number of buyers who actually see your property is going to be significantly lower than the 20% explained above.
- You’ll get harassed by agents looking to get your listing:
So if most buyers aren’t on MMM or Zillow FSBO, who is? Real estate agents. Many homeowners don’t know this, but Zillow makes nearly 80% of its revenue by selling consumer contact information to real estate agents in the form of buyer and seller leads. In fact, Zillow actually sends scripts to agents that teach them how to most effectively convert a Zillow FSBO or MMM seller lead into a client who will pay them a commission.Because of this, agents will eagerly jot down your publicly available contact info from your MMM listing and will call and email you to try to get you to list with them. Some may even show up at your door! Worst yet, unscrupulous agents may even pose as a potential buyer, interested in buying your home, to get your attention. The point here is, if you use MMM, you have to be prepared to deal with an onslaught of agents.
The Irony of Zillow Make Me Move:
Zillow’s CEO Spencer Raskoff wrote a book that features data that proves creating competition among buyers is what ultimately drives the highest final sales price. Competition is accomplished by pricing your home at or under fair market value, promoting your listing on various sites to reach as many buyers as possible and putting a for sale sign in your yard to get the word out about your listing.
And yet… the MMM tool reduces buyer visibility, decreases competition and encourages home sellers to list at a high price. While ironic, one of the main selling points of MMM is that it allows homeowners to put feelers out to see how much money they could potentially get for their home – and sometimes it works! As mentioned above, it’s also a great revenue generator for Zillow.
So Should You List Your House on Zillow Make Me Move?
In general, we feel that using the Zillow Make Me Move tool is not in the best interest of most home sellers. If you’re just curious if you’ll get any interest in your home and don’t mind being pursued by agents, feel free to give it a go. But, if you’re considering using it to eliminate the need to pay a listing agent commission or to sell without an agent, we encourage you to check out alternative home sale solutions (like HomeBay) instead.
With these alternative solutions, you pay no listing commission and don’t have to meet in person with an agent, but you do get maximum exposure on all websites and many other benefits, such as help with dealing all paperwork should you find a buyer.