Using Zillow for All Your Real Estate Needs

One of the best platforms for property buying, selling, and renting

Zillow is a comprehensive real estate platform that helps people buy, sell, rent, finance, and even remodel properties. Zillow features over 110 million properties in the United States and Canada, including properties that have been sold, as well as properties that are not currently on the market. Zillow is free for buyers and sellers.

The name "Zillow" is a combination of the "zillions" of factors involved in making complex real estate decisions, plus the idea of a house being a place to lay your head, a "pillow."

Zillions + pillow = Zillow.

How Zillow Works

Zillow obtains its data from free, public sources on the internet, such as information provided by county and city records. Zillow uses this data (in addition to other factors) to compile detailed home profile listings.

Zillow's methods produce accurate property values; however, these estimates should not be substituted for official real estate appraisals.

Use Zillow to Find a Real Estate Agent

You can connect with qualified real estate professionals through Zillow. These professionals consist of real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors, home builders, and more.

Zillow's Premier Agents are prescreened to ensure they meet Zillow's bar for the best quality customer service.

Use Zillow to Determine Home Values

Homeowners can use Zillow for a "Zestimate" of what their home is worth.

A Zestimate is not a substitute for a formal home appraisal; rather, it's an informal way to quickly gauge your home's market value.

Zillow - prompt to enter address to obtain Zestimate

A Zestimate is Zillow's best estimate of a home's value. The Zestimate also includes a rental estimate.

The information used to present this data is based on a wide range of public information that is compiled into one cohesive, useful presentation.

All the Zestimates for the hundreds of millions of homes that Zillow currently covers are part of the Zillow Home Value Index. The Zillow Home Value Index is a geographical, chronological snapshot of home values, based on median value. In other words, it's a simple way to get a quick grasp of how a specific area is doing in the real estate market.

Use Zillow to Find Information About Mortgages and Loans

Another very popular feature on Zillow is the Mortgage Marketplace. Searchers can request loan information from several different lenders at the same time without supplying any personal identification information whatsoever (which makes it a very attractive option, indeed).

Users are completely anonymous until they decide to contact a lender who presents a favorable quote. At that point, financial and personal information is expected as part of the exchange. 

Searchers can also easily compare rates and lenders, side-by-side, to assess loan types, rates, percentages, fees, monthly payments, and even the physical distance between the lender and buyer.

Be sure to take advantage of the variety of calculators Zillow offers. On Zillow.com, go to Home Loans > Calculators to access calculators for mortgages, refinancing, affordability, amortization, and debt-to-income ratio.

Use Zillow to Find Properties to Buy or Rent

On Zillow's home page, you can search for information on a specific property by entering it's full address in the search bar.

If you're looking for localized information about a particular neighborhood or state/province, enter the neighborhood's name, city, state, or zip code in the search bar. This works for rentals, homes for sale, and even homes that will soon go on sale by owner or due to foreclosure.

Search results come with many different filters such as For Sale, For Rent, and Sold. You can also filter by Price, Beds & Bath, Home Type, Lot Size, and many more tweaks to find exactly what you're looking for.

Zillow - filter search results

Use Zillow Offers to Sell Your Property

Zillow makes it easy to sell your home by selling to them. Yes, Zillow will purchase your home through their Zillow Offers program if the property meets their qualifications. Zillow Offers aims to take the stress out of the selling process by eliminating the need to list, prep, or repair your home before selling.

Not all properties are eligible for Zillow Offers because Zillow has real estate brokerage licenses in only select states.

Use Zillow to Rent Your Property

If you're looking to rent out your property, you can manage all your applications and screen potential tenants directly from Zillow. You can also accept and keep track of rental payments, which go directly to your bank account.

Make Me Move

“Make Me Move” was a popular feature on Zillow that allowed homeowners to know how much their home could sell for, without actually putting the property on the market. The seller would post a sales price, and interested buyers would send a message to the homeowner, who could then decide whether or not to contact the buyer and sell.

As of 2020, Zillow has discontinued the Make Me Move feature.

Using Zillow On the Go

Zillow is accessible on the internet, but it's even more convenient to use it on the mobile app. With the mobile app, you can use all of the features mentioned above—and, you can receive push notifications whenever new listings hit the market, switch to a pending status, or drop in price.