Using Trulia in 98112>Question Details

Neil A, Home Buyer in Seattle, WA

Why are open houses listed here often NOT open when I arrive? I will have to stop using trulia if unsolved.

Asked by Neil A, Seattle, WA Mon Aug 10, 2009

I have routinely used open houses listed on Trulia to plan my housing search on weekends. However, I have had several "open" houses listed here end up NOT being open when I arrive, or when I double check on other websites. This past weekend, 3 of 5 "open" houses were NOT open when I arrived at the appointed time, well within the listed window. Since these incorrect open times were not listed on other websites, I must assume this is Trulia's problem unless I receive a better explanation, and will have to stop using/trusting your website.

Help the community by answering this question:


Patrick Beringer’s answer
Customer: "I'll NEVER fly your airline again!!!"
Agent: "Yes you will."
Customer "I know"

Trulia gets their open house data from the MLS, which is input by the listing agent. Sometimes I advertise my listings as open and then no open happens. Why? Because something else came up. Because the site agent I hired got a flat tire. Because one of my clients called and needs something. Because the seller broke her ankle and cancelled the open. Because LIFE happened. Sitting at an open house is probably the LEAST important thing I will ever do. Open houses are generally designed to pacify a seller and get new clients for MYSELF.

If you want to see houses for sale then I respectfully suggest you have your agent take you to these houses. I do understand that it's really irritating to get to an open house and find it not "open" but honestly, the internet has sort of taken the place of much of what these open houses were for.

It's not Trulia's fault, they are not the scheduling center for the world's open houses. Get a buyer's agent to work with you. There's a whole bunch of us on this page to choose from.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 5, 2011
The grownup answer is that Open House notices do not carry the Rule of Law. We can post them, and change our minds at the last minute, end of story.
If we post an Open House on Wednesday, get an offer accepted on Friday, we may or may not pull our open house notices from all the various websites, c'est la vie. And, then again, maybe we will.
As a very practical matter, you should confirm the open house with a phone call to the agent, or else, you takes your chances.
As Celine Dion famously sang, that's the way it is.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 1, 2009
Trulia is a great real estate website. Unfortunately, it's only as good as the information that is fed to it. The others are right in that agents are responsible for inputting open house information. I am surprised as much as you are that agents don't take more responsibility in managing their listings better. Homes in zip code 98112 are typically priced much higher than the average first time home buyer range, so I'm not sure the problem is that the houses are selling before you see them. My best advice is to partner with a Realtor who can show you the properties during the week, rather than waiting until the weekend. There are properties in all price points that sell within a few days. (take 904 16th Ave E priced at $3.150M - had an offer in less than a week!) If you are truly a serious buyer, you need someone that can stay abreast of the market and keep you ahead of the curve.

--Rebecca Carlson
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 11, 2009
As others have noted, it's individual agents that enter the times, not Trulia. So if it's not held at the time indicated, it's their "fault," not Trulia's (although Trulia can have a delay getting a cancellation processed).

My guess is though that you're looking in a price range that is within that of people using the $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit. Those houses go fast, at least the decent ones, and the open house may have simply been canceled because there's a pending offer on the property. My wife is an agent too and she's had weeks where three of the five properties she's selected to show her client have gone off the market before the weekend when the client could look.

If you are in that market you probably cannot wait for open houses, and not even wait for the weekend to look. Also, if you are not only in that market, but wanting the credit, the deadline to close is November 30, 2009, and so you're running out of time to find a place.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 11, 2009
There is no way of telling why this is happening other than agents had a change of plans and did not adjust theit Trulia "open house" time.

Trulia offers this service to agents and prospective buyers and has not control over the level of professionalism that follows.

Our recommendation is, that if this aspect of Trulia is not working for you....avoid using IT. But to STOP using the entire system.....just doesn't seem to make good sense, especially if everything else is working fine.

I'm sure your concerns will be heard.........
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 11, 2009
Not just Trulia's fault . Too many agents don't take their job seriously. One day last summer I went to THREE open houses that weren't actually OPEN! Those open houses were advertised in the Seattle Times for crying out loud. There really has to be even more accountabilty in our profession. Too many jokers out there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 5, 2011
Dear Neil,

Trulia is an aggregator of data. The Aggregation phenomenon is new and Aggregators only dowload data two or three timesper week. Teh real estate market changes hourly. Homes sell, are taken off the market, and open houses are cancelled because of this.

Trulia has relationships with some brokers, but not all brokers, so Trulia gets its data from a variety of places. As is true of all internet home searching, it is a source to get a picture of what is happening in general in the real estate market. It is not your best source to actually find a home to purchase.

If you are truly interested in purchasing, you will best use your time if you create a working relationship with a knowledgeable and full service real estate agent. Real estate agents, through their brokerages, have access to up to the minute, 100% complete data and many real estate agents have systems set up to find you the properites that best fit your needs.

I recommmend working with a Realtor (not all agents are Realtors) because they subscribe to a code of ethics. A CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) Realtor is a Designation achieved by only 4% of the Realtors, so if you find a CRS, you find an agent that has put time and expense into their professional career. A professional Realtor will even take you around in their car to see the best homes for you.

Also, if you decide you are ready to purchase, a full service agent will recommend great lenders. I recommend lenders who have gotten extra training as Mortgage Consultants.

Feel free to sign up at my web site for a search that will update you daily on houses that fit your parameters.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 11, 2009
not necessarily a Trulia problem. Per MLS rules, an agent must be present for the times published. You might go to or the NWMLS public website also.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 11, 2009
There really is no need for you to rely on advertised open houses to view prospective properties. If you interview and select an agent of your own s/he can arrange appointments and a touring schedule that is convenient to your calendar. This is a very important 'strategy' if you are shopping in the
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 11, 2009
I hadn't noticed the 98112 zip code at the bottom of the question.

We had an open house in that zip code this weekend, but it was on a Saturday, and it was a condo.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 11, 2009
It is true that agents have to input the open house info directly to Trulia. They also must input the actual listing manually. You can therefore get active listings on Trulia that are actually sold but the agent fails to update the status. I know that both the Windermere and Redfin sites sweep the Northwest MLS so there information is reliable. The MLS requires agents to be present when the open house is listed on the MLS as open. If they do not, and they are reported, they could be subject to fines.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 10, 2009
As far as I know, Trulia doesn't pull open house info from any MLS. The open house info you read here was input by the listing agent directly to this site. Trulia cannot make them show up.

Your best bet is to work with your Buyer's Agent to coordinate showings. If you're not yet at that stage, you're just going to have to drive through neighborhoods you like every Sunday from 1-4.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 10, 2009
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer