Whether this is your first time buying a house or your 10th time, you might be researching everything all wrong. There are so many places to look for real estate listings; the local MLS, real estate websites such as Realtor.com, Zillow.com or Trulia.com. All of these national websites might be able to give you a good snapshot of the homes for sale but many of them keep old listings that are no longer available in the actual MLS. Plus, companies like Zillow.com are more likely to show homebuyers potential listings that may not even be on the market yet. This can cause a lot of problems when homebuyers contact either a past listing agent, a future listing agent or a real estate agent that has no idea this home could potentially be listed in the future. Why would the home be listed? Zillow receives information on potential foreclosures and if a home have gone into foreclosure or even if the homeowner has missed a payment or two, those public records can go to companies like the low and in the home would be listed as a potential new listing, even though it's not actually on the market. Zillow will give you an estimate of that price but if it's not actually listed, homebuyers can do nothing to purchase the property.
Something most homebuyers don't realize is that these national real estate websites are not actually Realtors or real estate agents. These lead generating companies force real estate agents to buy back their own listings or forced to spend thousands of dollars every year just to get a lead on their own listing. Is this really what homebuyers want?
I think homebuyers want the facts, they want the actual listings and when they're ready, be able to contact a real estate agent of their own fruition, not just the listing agent, but a buyers agent that is willing to work on their behalf.
While these large companies are fine to research, when it comes to knowing the facts on a particular property it's best to contact your own buyers agent. The agent can do the research with the adequate MLS and give you the facts straight up.
Also, every MLS is different. The country does not use one MLS but multiple MLSs across the country for each individual area, County or State. This information is designed to be accurate and provide each license real estate agent with the proper information in order for them to do their job. Real estate agents do not refer to these large national companies like Zillow because they understand that they are marketing to potential homebuyers and real estate agents, not necessarily keen on providing accurate information.
Before looking at all of the different national real estate websites out there understand that a local, MLS feed on a local real estate agents website is really the best way to get the most accurate information on what's available, the price and how active the property is. If you're ready to get started feel free to click the property search button in the menu above. You can search a variety of different ways but one of the best things about it is that it's local and it's accurate.