Internet Killed… The Real Estate Star?

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For those of a particular generation, it’s hard to forget The Buggles’ “”Video Killed The Radio Star“”. Released in 1979, the single celebrated an era of radio-driven music cut short by the music video, and appropriately enough, it was the first video to air on MTV. From that moment on, everything changed: Casey Kasem gave way to Carson Daly, America’s downtowns fell to feminine wiles of Downtown Julie Brown, and cruising around on a Friday night was postponed to watch Friday Night Videos.

To some, Trulia and Zillow are the music videos of the real estate industry.

If you don’t know anything about either site, I encourage you to click on the links above to visit them. They provide an incredibly broad range of real estate related information: sales data, pricing trends, school information, opinions, pictures, crime data, neighborhood trends… and really, so much more. At first blush, it’s easy to see why these sites have so many real estate professionals nervous. I mean, for years, so much of this information was horded by those in the business. Now, the data and listings flow free, sort of like the drama on MTV’s The Hills.

I really love both of these sites, and I totally support any service that helps educate consumers… but I think that anyone that’s navigating their way through a real estate transaction solely on the basis of what one of these sites tells them is crazy. Real Estate is not as simple as buying a ticket to see the 1:35 showing of Inglorious Basterds, nor is it as cut and dried as finding the least expensive 3-star hotel room in Cleveland. It can be a complicated process, and working with an experienced professional can save you not only thousands of dollars, but also a boatload of stress.

How can I be so sure, you might ask. How do I know that you shouldn’t “”go it alone“” with the Internet?

Well, I just did a “”zestimate“” on my house (this is Zillow’s estimated value of a home), and learned that the value of my home has gone up 17% since June. I love my house. Clearly, I’m a cheerleader for buying real estate. However, if you- or anyone that you know- is interested in purchasing my house for what Zillow suggests it is worth… I’ll throw in my television.

And my radio.

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Jon Effron is widely regarded as one of the leading Realtors in Atlanta, working with both buyers and sellers throughout the metro area to maximize their real estate investments. In 2014, Jon was the #1 individual agent at Keller Williams Intown, one of the largest brokerages in Intown Atlanta. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Jon was the Vice President of Development at Tujay Group, an Atlanta real estate development firm. His career pre-real estate included stints at, eGroups (now Yahoo! Groups) and Elite Traveler magazine, where he served as the Vice President of Marketing.