Well, it's official, Zillow.com has bought Trulia.com for a package worth $3.5 BILLION , which was their biggest competitor and the resulting conglomerate dwarfs the other remaining sites in the space. What does this mean for you?
Less Competition: Competition spurs innovation. Each site was constantly adjusting and improving their offering to gain an edge and bring the best data, information and interface to buyers and sellers.
Higher Prices: Advertising and services prices are sure to rise with more pricing power to the largest site and customer base. It's likely that many of the paid services will go up, and many of the free services are likely to migrate to paid
Opportunity for New Competitors: Few people had heard of Zillow and Trulia 5-10 years ago... they've doubled and tripled their reach in recent years. Other sites may have an opportunity to move into the void. Realtor.com ( which is not operated by the the National Association of Realtors ... who owns the name, but the name is leased to Move.com ) may have an opportunity to come from their #3 spot. Other sites such as Esately, Inc and HomeSnap are leveraging technology to offer better results
Local Options: Many buyers have migrated toward more local sites. As local broker sites have searches with as much horsepower as the national sites.. the technology gap has narrowed and many buyers have decided the significant increase in data reliability for a local site ( approx 30-40% of listings on Zillow/Trulia were not actually for sale per a competitor market research paper ) is stealing views from the bigger national sites which have the handicap of trying to integrate data from over 800+ individual MLS's around the country.
We will keep monitoring the market and keep you updated on any relevant changes on the horizon as the merger progresses and the effects are felt for home buyers and sellers in our local market!