On the market? Friend she calls ‘Zillow’ offers unfiltered take on homes for sale

·3 min read

I’ve caught the latest ailment that’s sweeping the country, and I’m not talking about the coronavirus. What I’ve got is a bad case of home-selling fever.

Am I selling my home? No, but that doesn’t mean I can’t live vicariously through everyone who is. The money, the quick sale, the waiving of a home inspection, and did I mention the money?

It’s heady stuff seeing your neighbors list their homes for big bucks. These prices are now the primary topic of every dog walking conversation.

There’s just so much to talk about. From the list price to what homes are overvalued AND need a total gut job to who just bought what house and is it a flipper or a real family moving in?

My favorite person to meet for a neighborhood deep dive is a woman I call Zillow based on her knowledge of every single home in a five street vicinity. She’s better than talking to a Realtor because she’ll eagerly share an unfiltered take on any home for sale.

All I have to do is point at a house and she’s got the inside scoop from “stuck in the ’70s like I’m talking ‘Brady Bunch’ rust colored shag carpeting with avocado green flecks,” to “that house was flipped and not even the kitchen cabinet pulls were put on straight.”

Seriously, what’s not to love about that level of insight with the added bonus of a “Brady Bunch” shout out.

This past weekend I was telling my family about “Zillow’s” latest neighborhood debrief and my daughter asked me if I had updated our house on Zillow. (The actual site, not my neighbor.) I was confused by this. Why would I go on Zillow and “update” our home if it’s not for sale?

This question resulted in an information dump from both of my children that I’m not sure I wanted. My daughter said Zillow updating is important because people are Zillowing your house all the time. Then she drops the bomb that back in high school kids knew the Zillow amount of their classmates’ homes and that some sororities will Zillow potential new members’ addresses.

Umm, yuck to all of the above.

My son chimed in that Zillowing is so rampant that it’s caused people to babysit their Zillow listing and continually add new photos of their home based on the season. Apparently there’s even various online classes for homeowners who aren’t interested in selling their home but want to learn how to use Zillow to their best personal advantage.

At my children’s urging I Zillowed our home. I was greeted by a horrible picture of my house that was at least two paint jobs ago.

The yard also looked pitiful, and as longtime readers know I’ve spent a lot of time on yard remediation so this really hurt. The description of our house was also incorrect. Somehow two bedrooms and a finished basement had been left out.

This spurred me to immediately enter the world of Zillow updating. I’m not proud of the fact that I’ve now become a Zillower. I blame it on the photo showing my lawn looking neglected. It was like a stab in the heart. As further proof that I might be losing my mind, I didn’t just take new pictures of my house, I also used a filter to make my grass really pop.

Yep, I’m one of those people now and my eternal excuse will be that my kids made me do it. Whatever, I’m just going to tell myself that it’s good practice for if we ever sell our home.

Reach Sherry Kuehl at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com, on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs on Instagram @snarky.in.the.suburbs, and snarkyinthesuburbs.com.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting