Both HomeLight and Zillow are online real estate companies, but they serve different purposes.
HomeLight is a free agent matching service that connects home buyers and sellers with realtors in their area. Unlike some of its competitors, HomeLight doesn’t offer discounts on realtor commissions, so using its service won’t save you money.
Zillow is a real estate database that primarily operates as a free home value estimator. Its estimates are more accurate than competitors like Redfin, but there’s still a lot of room for error. We recommend using Zillow to get a general idea of what your property is worth instead of using it to set a list price.
Should I use HomeLight or Zillow?
Zillow can help you if you want to browse listings or get a rough estimate of your home’s value.
HomeLight can help you quickly find a local agent, but it isn’t our top recommendation for agent matching. Instead, we recommend a company like Clever Real Estate that can save you money.
Clever connects you with top local agents and offers 1.5% listing fees — about half the standard rate.
What is HomeLight?
- HomeLight can give you fast, easy connections to local realtors.
- Agent matches are free.
- The company is available nationwide.
- You don’t save on realtor fees.
- The automated process may lead to poor agent matches.
- Home value estimates have no data or explanation.
HomeLight is an online service that quickly pairs home buyers and sellers with local realtors.
While HomeLight is free to use, you’ll still need to pay your realtor’s commission. Unlike its competitors, HomeLight doesn’t negotiate discounted realtor fees with the agents in its network. So you pay the same as if you’d found the agent on your own.
HomeLight also has a home value estimator, but we don’t recommend using it. The company doesn’t publish its calculator or offer information on how it comes up with an estimate.
What is Zillow?
- Zillow has a large database of up-to-date home values across the nation.
- It’s free to use.
- Its agent matching service benefits the agents more than you.
- Home value estimates aren’t always accurate.
Zillow is a real estate database of 104 million home values across the nation. It’s an excellent resource for browsing homes for sale or getting a general idea of homes values in your area.
Zillow is also our top choice for a free online home value estimator.
Its estimates are calculated using multiple listing services, tax records, and user-submitted information. Zestimates have an error rate of 6.9% for off-market homes and 1.9% for active listings. But Zillow tends to be more accurate than competitors like Redfin or PennyMac.
HomeLight vs. Zillow: Detailed breakdown
Use Zillow to browse home listings
Zillow is a great option for browsing home listings in your desired area. Its massive database covers about 75% of all homes in the country and is updated every 48 hours.
HomeLight doesn’t have any home listings.
Use HomeLight to find a realtor
Both HomeLight and Zillow can connect you with realtors, but HomeLight is the better choice for finding a realtor.
Zillow only matches you with agents who pay for ads. There’s no guarantee your agent will have relevant experience for your situation.
HomeLight sends you multiple agent matches, and it prioritizes agents by the number of successful real estate transactions they’ve closed through the platform.
But HomeLight still has some drawbacks. Our research shows that HomeLight doesn’t vet its agents as thoroughly as other agent matching services, like Clever. And it doesn’t offer any savings.
Use Zillow to estimate your home’s value
Zillow is one of the most accurate home value websites. It uses its huge property database to make estimates — though it still has a national median error rate of 6.9% for off-market homes.
HomeLight’s home value estimates lack explanation and transparency. The company doesn’t publish its calculator’s median error rate or give any information on how it makes estimates.
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