Online resources are mostly good, but not the “real deal”

Of course nowadays, everyone knows the extensive impact the internet has had for many years on the process of home buying and selling. Statistically speaking, an estimated 90% of those interested in buying a home begin their search online. That’s pretty much everyone, whether they’re simply window shopping, or are committed buyers formulating a plan of action.

Today, there are 10 online real estate sites that attract about half of all the internet traffic making real estate searches. With 36-million unique monthly visitors, is by far the most popular., Yahoo! Homes, and are all in a battle for runner-up honors with right around 20-million visitors every month. Most of these sites, particularly Zillow, have come a long way over the past 10 years in terms of not only their appearance, but functionality. Despite the impressive progress however, they all still lack a fundamental element— consistency in the reliability of some of the information they deliver.

Girl_02All of these third-party sites draw from various Multiple Listing Services (MLS) for their content. When agents like myself list a home for sale or represent a buyer that made a purchase, we enter all kinds of different pieces of information into the MLS specific to that transaction. Items such as price, type of sale, type of financing, and down payment amounts, are just a few of the dozens of parameters agents document as part of a transaction. What and how this information is processed by these consumer sites is where some important inconsistencies occur.

More often than not the inaccuracies I’ve experienced with these sites has had to do with the value they place on a particular home; whether it’s currently for sale or even if it isn’t. The numbers have nearly always been off on the high side; sometimes by quite a bit.

I’ve actually had the opportunity on a few occasions to speak with representatives from Zillow and Trulia and some others about this; and to their credit, those I have spoken to without hesitation acknowledged that the methodology their sites use to calculate or analyze home values does sometimes result in numbers that are not altogether accurate.

That’s problematic for two reasons; the first— sellers of a home can get in their mind that their property is worth more than it is. And two; buyers can get discouraged by inflated price points and disregard homes that they might actually qualify to purchase.

Whether you are a buyer looking to monitor the market, a seller looking to do the same, or, simply a homeowner that would like to keep tabs on what is happening in your neighborhood; your best and most accurate way of doing all of that is to get the information directly from the MLS and skip the middle man entirely.

I have dozens of clients and friends I have set up with automated MLS alerts that email them the latest info on specific property search parameters that they define. The info comes to them in real-time, and is straight from the source— the MLS.

Sure, they still monitor the online sites; I do too. But they rely on the unfiltered version to go along with it. If that might interest you as well, just give me a holler, and I’ll set it up for you right away.

Source: Mark Marino, Realtor; Keller Williams, Studio City


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Categories: LATEST NEWS

Author:Marino Real Estate

Specializing in residential and commercial real estate sales for the better part of a decade, my approach to real estate involves establishing a trust with my clients, that contributes to the ultimate success of our transaction. Whether it is a personal residence, or an investment property, I am committed to negotiating the best deal for my clients, and have enjoyed a history of meeting the important and unique needs of the many clients which have entrusted me with thier real estate goals.

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