You are discovering more than you expected in the answers. Steve is correct, around the country there are different ways information can be provided with different levels of accuracy. I like Trulia as an agent/broker because of this side of the site. Questions are asked and various answers provided for the public to get a sense of the quality of the agents involved as well as an answer to a question.
When you are ready to collect off the data available, and especially in the current state of our local market, there is nothing that competes with a local agent setting up a search matching your criteria and having it send the results to you in real time.
As others have said, many IDX sites only update periodically. (IDX is the means that Redfin, JLScott, Windermere, Remax as well as individual agent sites get their mls data) A live search set up by me or another local pro can have a listing in your email within minutes of it hitting the market.
With inventory so low and demand so high, time matters. I'm seeing new listings in the morning being under contract by the evening, before many can get a chance to see them.
A local broker can also inform you about known upcoming listings before they hit, search canceled and expired listings that may match you parameters and if necessary solicit specific homes that appeal to you that are not on the market.
Get a great local pro and you'll be ahead of the crowd and improve your odds of finding what you are looking for much better than with this or any other site.
You should use professional sites such as REMAX.com OR the local MLS.
Any Redmond WA REALTOR can provide you FREE access to the local MLS.
If you are seeking to be ENTERTAINED, now Trulia is the place to be.
Comedy entertainment can be found with the RealtyTrace and Trulia estimates.
Tragedy on the Rental section.
Drama in the Q & A.
Intrigue in the Agent 2 Agent forum.
From what I've observed, there are travel services to India, health solutions for any ailment, and lots of opportunity to watch feet ball.
If you want to see all properties in a market you should find a local broker that operates a VOW (Virtual Office Website). All of our Broker clients have VOWs'.
Simply a VOW allows the broker to show you EVERY property on the market including the ones set to not display on the Internet, sold properties, etc. Trulia is a lead generation company, they cannot represent you in the selling or buying process.
The following text appears on each agents account on Trulia. Simply access your listing and select EDIT.
Editing Your Listing
Trulia receives this listing from ListHub, a third party listing provider. As part of Trulia's syndication agreement with ListHub, Trulia has agreed to limit data edits on core fields (e.g. price and status) specified by ListHub. This restriction does not apply to other marketing information. Below are the editable and uneditable fields.
Please share with me, Trulia words that gives your objection substance.
1. How Trulia gets listing information will vary by area and sometimes even by brokerage. Agents should not assume that the system in their area is the system everywhere.
2. Even though I said below that buyers in our local area would probably be better off using a broker site to look for listings, it would be foolish for a seller to keep their listing off of Trulia. There are some buyers who look at Trulia, and you want them to know about your listing too!
Buyers and seller should not use or allow their data to appear on Trulia or Zillow.
As 7Mountain observed, all the properties that are actually for sale appear on the MLS.
Real estate based search engines, by agreement through brokers, have a direct access to the MLS affording them more complete and up to date listing information. This MLS system, by design, favors brokers as it is paid for and managed by broker agreement.
Trulia provides the online searcher with an opportunity to interact with a number of professionals for advice, information, and services from a broad base from the convience of your computer or Internet device. Not locking you into any one agent or brokerage.
In the end no system is perfect but all have their positive aspects depending on your needs as a home buyer or seller. As suggested, using multiple search systems, might provide you with the best situation to meet your needs. The good in all this is that you get to decide for yourself what to use and when.
Best of luck to you
For Trulia and the other non-broker sites, they will not only have an incomplete list of listings, but in addition much of the information will be stale. Some listings will show for incorrect prices and some listings will show as active after they are pending or even sold.
Use Trulia for other things.
Donald A Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Director - Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors
Douglas Elliman Real Estate