March 2, 2024

Trulia and Zillow are two of the most popular real estate websites. Both property websites list homes to sell, buy, or rent. Zillow and Trulia are also popular with real estate investors in determining property values and making a comparative market analysis. But the big question is: if you are considering investing in real estate, which is best—Trulia vs. Zillow?

At first glance, Zillow and Trulia appear similar. They’re real estate databases that feature property listings for both homes that are for sale or rent.

Suppose you are searching for properties to buy or rent. Is Zillow or Trulia the best choice? This article compares the two popular real estate websites to help you decide which is best for your needs.

Trulia Overview

Trulia is a real estate database with market listings for buying, selling, or renting properties. The website is free to use as it makes money from advertising. In addition to real estate listings, Trulia has extensive neighborhood information, including schools, local insights, and resident reviews. 

Trulia offers users a good experience when buying, selling, or renting. The map on the right shows properties with listings and photos on the left. Clicking on a specific listing opens a new page with complete property information.

Trulia history

Trulia was founded in 2005 as a property listing website for California. However, the real estate platform covered the entire United States by the following year. In 2015, the Zillow Group acquired Tulia.

Therefore, when comparing Trulia vs. Zillow, it’s good to remember that many features are similar because property data comes from one database.

Zillow Overview

Zillow is one of the most popular websites in the real estate industry. Zillow offers tools for selling, buying, and renting properties and financing real estate transactions. A unique feature of the website is Zillow’s Zestimates — a helpful tool for determining a home’s value or estimated monthly rental price. 

Like Trulia, Zillow is free to list a property to sell or rent, and it makes its money through advertising. 

Zillow offers users a graphical interface to search properties in specific areas of the country. First, the map on the left-hand side shows relevant properties. Then scrolling the properties on the right highlights the property on the map. After clicking on a property, you get complete listing information, including photos, agent information, and the option to request a tour.

A nice feature for homebuyers is that Zillow Mortgage Marketplace provides home loan quotes without you having to reveal personally identifying information. 

Zillow history

Richard Barton and Lloyd Frink founded the Zillow Group in 2006. Over the years, the company has acquired various real estate websites, making it the largest in the US. According to data, the database has over 135 million homes. 

Similarities Between Trulia and Zillow

Zillow and Trulia are very similar regarding buying, selling, or renting real estate. It is easy to search for rental properties because both websites show search results on a map. You can also find detailed information on price history, market trends, and facts from country records.  

Both websites also provide a breakdown of monthly costs like property taxes, mortgage payments, home insurance, mortgage insurance, and applicable association fees. In addition, featured agents pay to have their listings appear at the beginning of search results. 

Differences Between Trulia and Zillow

Knowing the differences between Zillow vs. Trulia can help you decide which real estate platform best suits your needs. 

The main difference is that Trulia provides more detailed information on neighborhoods. However, Zillow’s home value estimator “Zestimate” is a powerful tool for real estate investors. 

Let’s compare the features of the two websites in more detail. 

Comparative market analysis

Zillow’s Zestimate is the main feature that differentiates it from Trulia. The handy tool gives an approximate market value for any residential property. In addition, you can also get helpful information on predicted property appreciation — extremely useful if you are a real estate investor. 

In addition, Zillow also has a Rent Zestimate calculator for investors to assess potential rental income from an investment property. These tools can help you decide about renting or owning a property.

Trulia Estimate is also a home value estimator tool similar to Zestimate. However, compared to Zillow, it does not provide as detailed information. This is because it doesn’t offer off-market estimates.

Related: What is a comparative market analysis? 

Filter options

One area where Zillow is more useful when searching active listings is its extensive filters. Although Trulia has good search filters, Zillow lets you filter property searches by the following: 

  • 3D virtual tours
  • Parking spot or garage
  • Number of days on Zillow
  • Basement
  • Number of stories
  • Type of view — mountain, city, water, or park
  • Amenities
  • Senior living communities

Using the keyword filter on Trulia makes it possible to achieve similar results. However, Zillow simplifies property searches. 

Site features

Zillow and Trulia have excellent property and neighborhood information on their websites. For example, there is information on Walk Scores, schools, market trends, property comps, and tour information. 

However, comparing the two websites, Trulia is visually more appealing. For example, there are real resident reviews and ratings regarding the following:

  • Sidewalks
  • The walking distance of grocery stores and restaurants
  • Parking
  • Reviews on schools, commuting, community, and dog walking

Another nice feature of Trulia is that comparable properties are shown on a map to help you better understand the surrounding area. 

Trulia vs. Zillow for sellers: If you plan to sell your house down the FSBO route, then Zillow is the best choice. Real estate professionals and homeowners can list houses for sale without commission fees. You can also search for Zillow Premier Agents to make the home selling easier. 

Zillow vs. Trulia for buyers: Zillow makes it easier to contact agents if you want to buy a home. However, it’s worth checking out Trulia because it has better visual information on neighborhoods sourced from local people. 

Zillow vs. Trulia for real estate investors: Zillow is the go-to choice for property investors because it has good Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) tools. You can easily find comps, complete property information, and check current market value with Zestimate. Unlike Trulia, it gives market information on off-market properties, which can be helpful in a CMA.

Trulia vs. Zillow for renters: Most people looking for rental listings use Trulia. Although Zillow rental listings are the same, Trulia has more comprehensive neighborhood information. 

Trulia and Zillow Alternatives

Redfin is the most popular alternative to Zillow and Trulia. Its website design is similar, allowing homebuyers, sellers, or renters to search for suitable properties. Additionally, Redfin shows the information on home appreciation, value, HOA, and year built. It also has a home value estimate calculator and mortgage search from the home page. 

When comparing Redfin vs. Zillow, there is one significant difference. The company employs a team of professional real estate agents, making buying or selling a home easy. Additionally, Redfin charges lower commission fees when selling a home. Therefore, checking out Redfin may be worthwhile if you want to list a home or buy one.

Also, Redfin Estimates on home values are relatively accurate. However, they have a more significant error margin than Zillow Zestimates. 

Here is a list of other alternatives to Trulia and Zillow:

  • Apartments.com: This website is ideal for real estate agents, brokers, and investors looking to purchase rental properties. The site also incorporates a suite of property management tools for landlords.
  • Realtor.com: This online real estate platform has MLS listings and has similar information that Zillow and Trulia offer. However, it is not free for agents to use.
  • Homesnap: The popularity of Homesnap among real estate investors is its mobile app. It is possible to manage listings from a mobile device. Also, homebuyers can search local MLS and get complete information on the property. 
  • Foreclosure.com: As the name suggests, this platform is for real estate investors or homebuyers who want to find foreclosures. In addition, the platform provides valuable data on potential profit. 
  • FSBO.com allows homeowners to sell homes without a real estate agent. For under $100, the FSBO package lists homes on Redfin and has unlimited photos and one video upload. A more expensive MLS package lists the property on MLS and popular real estate websites like Zillow.

Are Listings on Trulia or Zillow Accurate?

Zillow is one of the most accurate real estate databases for home estimates. According to Zillow, the Zestimate median error rate for on-market homes is 3.2%. For off-market properties, the median error rate is 7.52%. Trulia’s estimates for on-market properties are as accurate as Zillow’s because the data is from the same source. 

Trulia and Zillow allow you to connect with a local real estate agent for a more accurate home value estimation. 

Zillow Zestimates have a margin of error. Therefore, it is crucial to remember that real estate website estimates cannot replace an official appraisal. Therefore, getting a professional home value report is vital before making an offer on a home. 

What Real Estate Investors Need to Know about Trulia and Zillow

Trulia and Zillow are great resources for investors and real estate professionals to find homes for sale or post-rental listings. For example, Zillow has one of the most extensive real estate databases, with millions of properties listed nationwide. In addition, both sites have tools to analyze housing market data and neighborhoods.

Real estate agents and homeowners who want to go down the FSBO route can post listings for free with no sales commission. However, you may have to pay the agent’s commission. The listings appear on Zillow and a day later on Trulia. For real estate professionals, Zillow has a “Zillow Premier Agent” subscription to help investors generate high-quality leads. 

A handy feature of Zillow and Trulia is the home value estimates. Although it is only a ballpark estimate, it provides valuable information for finding the right investment property for your portfolio. 

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.

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