What I Love About This Home – Zillow Section Removed
My real estate team in Oregon and Washington sells a lot of homes, a few hundred each year. We do everything we can to give our client’s homes an edge online. For us that means two things, first, we pay extra to top real estate portals (like Zillow, Realtor.com, Homes.com, etc.) for higher positioning. Second, we check all the boxes and do whatever is necessary to fill out the listing so it looks fantastic and carries with it all of the important home details. That’s why we were shocked when the Zillow editable description section, “What I Love About This Home,” suddenly disappeared on all our client’s listings.
MLS descriptions are limited. Zillow’s “What I Love About This Home” was LONG.
Realtors = MLS. This is one of the basic fundamental aspects of the real estate industry many of the general public may not be aware of already. The vast majority of Realtors subscribe to and pay an MLS (Multiple Listing Service) system in their state to take their client’s home and broadcast it to thousands of real estate websites. The MLS systems across the country, by in large, are the originating source of all home for sale data. MLS systems are so important and so effective, we always pay to list our client’s homes on multiple MLS systems (not just one). MLS systems are not only the originating source of data on homes for sale for almost every single real estate website that has a home search option, they are where Realtors across the country live and work. Most Realtors who work with buyers login to their local MLS system every day and search for their clients. Realtors prefer to use the MLS system since it has unfiltered home data.
Now all MLS systems are a little different and while some let the Realtor or homeowner write up a long description, many are pretty short and sweet. That is where Zillow’s “What I Love About this Home” section came into play. Realtors or homeowners could write a bit more about their home, in addition to whatever came from the MLS. (The process in which data is set from the MLS systems to the thousands of different real estate websites is called IDX.) This extra description section on Zillow was huge because Zillow is by far the #1 visited real estate website. See our report on the top ten visited real estate search sites here.
Why did Zillow remove the “What I Love About This Home” section?
Zillow.com recently became a legal real estate Brokerage in all 50 states. Zillow also then became a member of most of the MLS systems in the U.S. Remember Realtor = MLS? So now Zillow, by in large, has to play by MLS member and Brokerage rules, which means displaying the IDX data from MLS systems without breaking MLS rules. And trust me Zillow’s “What I Love About This Home” section in the past featured all sorts of rule-breaking (fair housing act and other rules) in the posts.
When I reached out to Zillow direct about this, I got the following reply as confirmation:
During our call, we confirmed that homeowners are no longer able to add the “What I Love About This Home” section to their property while the property is tied to an IDX feed. As we transitioned to IDX feeds earlier this year, this feature had to be removed in order to comply with new rules and regulations
The Zillow “What I Love About This Home” section still lives on in a few places but …
Currently, if a property is not tied to an IDX feed (not listed for sale in an MLS system) this section in Zillow is still available. For example, a homeowner is selling for sale by owner and fills it out. But if a homeowner fills this section out and then hires a Realtor with an MLS subscription to list their home for sale, that Zillow write-up will disappear.
How to Get Around Short MLS Descriptions
Okay, so at least as far as it goes for Zillow, we no longer have the easy “What I Love About This Home” section to use as a work-around for short MLS descriptions. But we still need to say more than the 500 character MLS limited description space (this is not 500 words, but 500 characters including spaces!) for some properties if they are unique or luxury or simply huge. We have a two step process to get around this MLS limitation to make sure that the homebuyer online (no matter what real estate website they’re browsing) can see and obtain extra long home descriptions, PDF brochures, extra photos, whatever else we need to display to tell the story of the home, within an easy click from the search site they are on. To learn more about this, you’d have to contact our top 1% sellers agents. We’d love to hear from you today.June 9, 2021