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Oh Trulia!


Oh, Trulia!
photo credit: trulia

Makes me want to sing it like sore throat lozenges commercial “Ri…” Anyway, Trulia proudly announces their new, improved and expanded search options. It’s another way for office workers to distract themselves with the internet – something we all love to do. There are a variety of ways to find the home the consumer is looking for; whether by address, MLS number, or features – even recent sold properties are accessible – all at an increased speed.

Not all of the homes for sale are available to see on the site; it’s not a direct dump of info from the MLS. I would guess it’s the same scenario with the sold comparables, but I didn’t check – I just assumed. And you know what that means.

They haven’t quite figured out how to calculate the comparables properly. They’re comparing apples to oranges. That’s still one thing humans need to evaluate. There doesn’t seem to be a way to determine how they came to the conclusions they did with their stats; and you know as well as I do if you can’t figure out how they were manipulated, you can’t be sure how inaccurate they are.

When viewing a particular home’s info, you’re enticed to click on which will lead you to the listing agent’s personal site. There you can obtain more details, including the Realtor’s contact info. In clicking to and fro, I noticed one little bitty problem. When inputting a new listing into the MLS, the agent is asked if the whole address should be viewed by the public. When the “no” box is checked, the address space will indicate “address not disclosed.” There are a variety of reasons to not disclose the address; however, if you just click on through, the address will pop up, for example, when jumping over to the Homes and Land site. Ooops. I’m sure they’re working on that fix.

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Trulia is reformatting the info obtained from the MLS into a pretty website for the consumer to gather their own data and devour it as they choose. But just like Uncle Sam, they want you. They need you. In order to create the best possible site for the consumer and those agents who advertise on Trulia, they want more info from you. So get on over there and give it up. Give the rest of what you’ve got away.

It reminds me of a Wiley Coyote cartoon where he leaves the bait out on a path while he hides around the corner of a boulder. “Come on little fella, click here. Come on, click here.” As you do, you give a little more info and get some too.

Written By

As a lifelong resident and local Realtor, Vicki has established herself as a respected member of the San Mateo County real estate community. She’s known for her wit, sarcasm, and her personality that shows through in her posts. You can find her spouting off at Twitter, here at ag, and her personal blog, San Mateo Real Estate



  1. Jonathan Dalton

    February 1, 2008 at 1:14 am

    One of the notions that came from the technogeek focus group held by the local MLS earlier this month was that information overload is going to come soon for the real estate consumer. They are being bombarded on all sides by information – some relevant, some just techno-cool and virtually none of it complete.

    Many believe this is going to leave the consumer more empowered. Sometimes, though, I get the feeling it’s going to leave the consumer begging for anyone to simplify things for them.

    Searching for a home shouldn’t be as confusing as any given episode of Lost. (And yes, I have no bloody idea what tonight’s episode meant. Someone with the answers want to explain it?)

  2. Lani Anglin

    February 1, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Dalton, I think you’re right- if we could add about 20 more incomplete search engines for the same, regurgitated homes, consumers couldn’t possibly NOT be confused! Although Trulia is one of the more complete non-agent site and aims to be consumer friendly, it is still a *part* of the confusion (which I’m fine with- send your confused Austinites our way!!!!).

  3. Vicki Moore

    February 1, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    I’m with you two. I don’t understand the insatiable need for housing information. I do understand the desire to look at pictures of houses. What I don’t understand is the desire to capture and regurgitate all of the intricacies of stats, contracts, legalese, and so on. Even if all of the information is available, how in the hell is the average person going to sort through it and apply it to their specific situation? I just don’t get it.

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