Cheryl Marquis, an experienced Orange County real estate agent, has been in the business for almost 30 years. Over the decades, she has watched the business model shift from one based purely on client / realtor phone calls, to slow Internet dial-up, to the current web explosion of social media and housing sites galore. While a fan of the world wide web and a true believer in its ability to quickly share and spread useful, relevant content (follow Cheryl on Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest!), she is also very aware of its downsides, the biggest of which she considers to be the ‘homes for sale’ websites (such as Zillow and Trulia).

We understand. You probably think Cheryl is opposed to these websites because they have the ability to take business away from her. After all, Zillow and Trulia act as the middle man, relieving the need for a buyers agent, right? Wrong. If you know anything about Cheryl, you know that she is a big fan of efficiency.  If she saw that these websites offered something for her clients, Cheryl would maintain a very active presence on them. However, as a real estate insider, she knows the truth: Zillow, Trulia, and these other websites offer outdated listings that fish incorrect home listings to inexperienced realtors.

Additionally, since these aggregate site listings generally showcase out of date homes for sale, the ‘interested’ buyer is essentially sold a bill of goods and time is wasted. Cheryl and The Marquis Group value their buyers’ time and spend time with the client discussing what exactly the client is looking for so that when Cheryl is researching properties for her clients, she is matching homes to their preferences.

Cheryl also understands that you can’t know what you do want in a home unless you know what you don’t want, so using a website like Zillow to look at images of homes to narrow down your aesthetic preferences is not necessarily a bad idea. However, relying on Trulia or Zillow to help you find your dream Orange County home is likely an experiment in frustration and dead ends. Instead, contact the real-life real estate agent that you know will get the job done — Cheryl Marquis.

For more Orange County real estate news and happenings, follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylSellsOC or check her out on Facebook at CherylSellsOrangeCounty.