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How to use Zillow to buy a house without commissions

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Editor's note: The following article was created and uploaded by Inman Wiki user Bob Kelly. It appears on, a new online real estate encyclopedia from Inman News. You can find the article and join a discussion about it by clicking here. Here's a technique that worked for me last September 2006 to buy a house that was not on the market without commissions on either side of the sale (listing or buyer's commissions). The tools on Zillow were the key. First, you have to be familiar with a neighborhood you like where you can expect that the majority of the houses will be attractive to you. This is going to work best with a newer neighborhood, where all the houses are going to be in a similar condition. My target area was the Union Mills neighborhood in Lacey, Washington. Now we begin with Zillow. Use its search tools to narrow the houses in your target neighborhood by number of bedrooms, square footage ("size" on Zillow), type of house (single-family, condo), price (i.e., the...