Trulia says – Two Foreclosures in Charlottesville?

That’s what Trulia would have you believe (and it’s really not their fault). This post started as a breathless analysis of how great Trulia’s new foreclosure search is, how I would use it every day, tell my clients to use it,(everybody wants to learn about foreclosures) how Charlottesville does not have an effective or efficient method to search foreclosures, and how I and my buyer-clients would be able to use Trulia’s new partnership to our advantage.

But. The data’s just not there (yet).

A quick baseline:

– The local MLS shows 1306 active properties in Charlottesville and Albemarle.
– Trulia shows just more than half – 699 active properties in Charlottesville.

The discrepancy is likely partially attributable to a difference of semantics when searching – when searching the MLS, I request listings in “Charlottesville City and Albemarle County;” when searching Trulia – Charlottesville does not necessarily include Albemarle.

Take Crozet (a small town just west of Charlottesville, in Albemarle County and not included in the default search for Charlottesville) – Trulia says there are 138 homes for sale in the 22932 Zip Code. The MLS says there are 113 in the same zip code. The easy reasoning for the discrepancy is proven that there are duplicate properties, properties that are no longer for sale … basic data accuracy issues that come from maintaining such a large database of properties without direct reciprocal accountability to the listing agent.

This is likely a very useful tool and one that will be very useful – but it’s only a step in the right direction. I’m showing two foreclosures/REOs in Charlottesville today, neither of which is listed on RealtyTrac/Trulia.

I like Trulia – I like most of what they do. This post took much longer to write than anticipated because I got lost in their data. They offer far more peripheral information to the consumer than the local MLS does – but for now, the local MLS beats the pants off of their property database. I love that Trulia is constantly innovating; the more they innovate, the more they and their competitors will be forced to improve.

*one of these days I’ll figure out how to use their API and embed these searches in my website and on this blog.

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