If you are a user of the real estate websites Zillow and Trulia, there are big changes headed your way. On April 7, Listhub, the data engine that supplies real estate listing information from the CarolinaMLS (the local Realtors system) to Zillow and Trulia has announced that it will cease doing so. That means that starting on April 7, the listings shown on Zillow real estate sites (which includes Trulia) will not contain all of the homes in the Charlotte area that are for sale.
This website, CharlotteHouseHunter.com, maintains a direct feed from the CarolinaMLS and will always display all of the available homes for sale (including up to 24 months of sold listings), updated every 30 minutes.
In 2010, Move.com (the company that operates Realtor.com) acquired the real estate service Listhub. Listhub established a link between multiple listing systems and approximately 83 third party websites not affiliated with a brokerage like Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, etc. This connection meant that nearly every real estate listing in the Charlotte area was syndicated directly from the MLS to the most trafficked real estate websites.
In September 2014, Move (Realtor.com) was acquired by NewsCorp, taking Listhub with it and also acquired the rival syndication service Point2. Zillow then scooped up competitor Trulia in a sale that was completed in February. This meant that the group the operated the third most popular real estate website, Realtor.com, was now in control of the future of it’s two chief competitors. In January, Listhub announced that it would no longer feed listings to Zillow after their agreement expires, which now means that Trulia (apart of Zillow) will not receive real estate listings either through Listhub.
In response, Zillow has been negotiating with individual Multiple Listing Systems and brokerages to access and display listings on their family of real estate sites. As of March 31, the board that operates the CarolinaMLS and Zillow have not reached an agreement over a number of key issues. As a result, on April 7, Zillow’s feed from the CarolinaMLS (the data source) will be terminated.
Keller Williams Realty International reached an agreement with Zillow to allow their listings to appear on Zillow and Trulia through a “direct feed.” As a result, Keller Williams Realty listings will be displayed along with other firms with similar direct feed agreements. There will be a marked decrease in the number of listings available today to those after April 7.
Consumers love Zillow and Trulia while real estate groups have a hate-love-hate relationship with them. Consumers love how much information that have access even though some of the information isn’t always accurate (read How Accurate Zestimates are). Real estate agents hate that consumers are not always shown who the actual listing agent, rather a series of unrelated agents that are paying to receive the customer’s information. Additionally, since the sites aggregate data from a multitude of sources, it can lead to old real estate listings appearing as new or active.