In my opinion both have there pros and cons. Most clients I deal with are split down the middle when it comes to Trulia and Zillow.
D & I International Realty
There is someplace even better than either of these two sites where buyers and sellers can get real REALTOR information from their MLS data systems.
Buyers and Sellers can obtain access to the real REALTOR MLS data base system via http://www.listingbook.com it is the only large company who competes with Zillow and Trulia. The difference is that is it has agreements with local REALTOR boards so you get the real-time REALTOR Multiple Listing System date via many local organizations. They can save their search and it will email them new, pending and sold listings.
The Buyer or Seller can send questions right thru to their agents Listingbook account. The system also provides the most current closed sales information as well as active and pending sales.
Almost all REALTORS also have access to what is know as the IDX system which ties into the local board of REALTORS in most towns. Buyers and Sellers can search property anywhere in Florida and get real time current listing information. The SEARCH PROPERTY link on my site will take you to the State wide REALTOR link.
Sites like Trulia, Zillow, Realty Trac and REALTOR.com get their information from the county court house and the agents who pay to advertise their listing on those sites. They are toys to entertain the consumer public and to help us as agents get buyer or seller leads.
I am an Exclusive Buyer Broker; I have a profile and have paid to subscribed to obtain leads from specific zip codes from Trulia.
My buyers love my listingbook accounts because they can leave questions and help select their entire showing agenda by picking favorite prior to their arrival. They can also get time on the market, tax records and statistics from the links. My buyers get real REALTOR information.
Trulia is a lot of work for those of us who advertise on this site.
Beverly Howe, ABR, GRI, TRC, CIPS
Florida Buyer Broker
I'll be interested in hearing what Buyers and Sellers think of the two sites.
As an agent, I use both Trulia and Zillow. Both sites provide me with good exposure for my listings. There's a lot to like about them both. However, I also would like to see both Trulia and Zillow be even better.
Specifically, Trulia and Zillow have certain features that mislead and confuse Buyers.
It seems that every week (sometimes several times a week), one or more Buyers on this Trulia Q&A Forum want to know why a particular property is priced so low.
Just yesterday, we had a Buyer on this Forum who found at least a dozen properties "listed" here that he wanted to buy for cash because the prices were so outrageously low.
Agents usually know without even checking that the "listing" is really an ad for the Realty Trac lien tracking service. Nobody likes bursting someone's balloon, but then, as agents we feel compelled to tell the Buyer that the "price" is not really a list price--In fact the property most likely is not even for sale.
Zillow is misleading in a different way. Many agents and Sellers have observed that the value estimates on that site are sometimes wildly inaccurate. And I think I know one of the reasons it happens.
It looks as though Zillow is drawing an invisible circle, of a certain radius, around the subject property, and then comparing the property to others within that circle.
Of course, the problem with that type of (simplistic) comparison is that it ignores such things as existing natural and man-made boundaries (for example, major highways, waterways, or railroad tracks), subdivision boundaries, and (most important of all) neighborhoods.
It's hard sometimes for agents to take the Zillow valuations seriously when they appear to ignore some of the most important principles an appraiser would be expected to follow. Meanwhile, Buyers see these (often inaccurate) value estimates, and want use them to justify lowball offers.
There IS a way to avoid these issues, and that is to work with a Realtor who knows your local market. There are plenty of us here, just waiting to help.