With thousands of real estate websites, it can be difficult to find the right one. Search on Google and discover the most popular real estate websites, such as Zillow, Trulia and Refine. Once you&39;re past the first page, even the less popular sites now have the same home search features. So, how can an owner or buyer know which site is the best? Before choosing, you must first understand a little more about how they started and what they really are.
For many years, if you were in the market to buy a house, you had to go to the local real estate office in the area where you wanted to buy a house and ask to see a list of homes for sale. This listing was an impression of the local multi-referencing service (MLS) homes for sale. The list gave you basic information about the homes and some marketing tips. You went through it and then asked an agent to show you the houses that seemed likely to please you.
This has been great for Realtors because, as sources of this information, buyers had to come to them. It also gave the agent an opportunity to show the houses that the agent himself was registering first. For the buyer, it was not so good. It was difficult for the buyer to say if the agent was there to represent him or for the seller and if they wanted to inspect houses located in more than one city, they could be forced to address others real estate agencies to consult the list of other MLS. These lists may also be out of date and when you have found your dream home, it may already be sold. This process can be time consuming and stressful for even the most experienced buyer.
A decade or two later, important changes took place. MLS has gone digital and has been consolidated in larger MLS companies covering even larger areas. Here in western Washington, we now use the Multiple Listing Listing (NWSS) service, which covers all but two counties; Clark and Clallam. In the 90s, the Internet brought the first real estate websites. Most of them showed the homes cited by the agent / agencies who owned the website and were not updated very often. Some of the larger real estate agencies, those with the money and resources, started creating housing search tools using data directly from MLS. Now, for the first time, buyers do not need to talk to an agent to find homes for sale and can get even more information (images, schools, locations on the map and updated status) .
Today, the cost of producing these high quality websites has fallen to the point where an average agent with the right skills can be created. We are now witnessing an explosion of real estate websites and it seems that most of them have home search features. This leaves puzzled buyers on the website to use.
Now that buyers can get information from any real estate website, what should they know before choosing? First and foremost, here in Washington State, any authorized agent can show you and represent you at any address listed on MLS, regardless of the website on which you find it. Most of these websites have a mobile app or are compatible with mobile devices. Although most homebuyers start their home search on the Internet, they do not understand that the website you use to look at homes is a lead generation tool for the agent. The buyer exchanges his contact information for the use of the site.
This is not a bad thing. If you really want to buy a house, you will need answers to your questions, help to find financing, an agent to open the doors, someone who understands the paperwork and who can help you in negotiations, and a trusted agent to monitor you. in the closing process. This can only happen when you talk to an agent. Which agent you get is the important part. And that&39;s where finding the right website comes in. The buyer should use these websites to find out more about the agent that he might want to represent them. Learn more about the agent before you engage with an agent is the key to achieving your goals of buying or selling a home.
What you should look for is the agent &39;s experience in real estate. Do they work full time as a chartered real estate agent? What is their closing success rate? Do they guarantee their services? What old customers have to say about the service of the agent? These questions can sometimes be found on the agent&39;s website, but otherwise, you should ask for it at the first contact with an agent. Now that you know how they started and how they are, how do you choose the website that&39;s right for you? First, let&39;s talk about the differences between these websites. We can break it down into four types.
The first type concerns large brokerage sites like Zillow, Homes.com, Realtor.com and Trulia. These sites do not have agents working in the field. They sell prospects registered on their site to agents who hope to convert it into a customer. These websites have worked hard to make sure homebuyers find their site first. They have added many tools to estimate the value of homes or mortgage calculators, as well as all the information they can get on almost every home in the United States and other countries. They get most of this information from their public archives and what some owners can give them. The disadvantage of these sites is that the information they used may be outdated or inaccurate. Take home values, for example, because they get the data sold (houses sold in the same neighborhood) from public records and not from the local MLS, as their numbers may be lower than market trends. In the world of real estate, we are only looking at the last six months to help us determine the value of a home. Although the sale price of a house may be included in the public registry as soon as it closes, it may take months for the system to be filtered before these websites can include it in their data, which may be detrimental to their number. There is also a question about similar houses. When a real estate agent or appraiser performs a comparable market analysis (CMA) of the value of a home, he looks for a house exactly like the house in question (the house to be appraised), same size, same rooms , same baths, same size, same area and same condition. This can be a bit of an art and the question is whether a computer can do as good a job as an agent? This can leave home buyers and sellers confused as to the true value of a home.
I would like to take this opportunity to weigh on the values of the house. In a free market, like ours in the United States, the true value of a home is exactly "the highest price that a buyer is willing to pay and the lowest amount that is". a seller is willing to accept "for a property. This is only when a property is sold that the actual market price can be set and that everyone, real estate agent, appraisers, county appraisers and any website only makes an estimate or an estimate.
The second type of real estate websites includes large and medium-sized brokerages, such as Re / Max, Windermere, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, RedFin and ZipRealty. These companies have several brokerage firms in many locations in the United States. These real estate companies have agents who work directly for the brokerage houses, usually as independent contractors. Prospects or potential customers who register on their sites are assigned to the individual agent or sometimes sold according to the rules of the company. These companies pay a significant portion of the agent &39;s commission or remuneration, some of which represents 60% or more. This means that the agent must redouble efforts to convert as many potential customers into customers as to earn enough money to stay in business. Sometimes these agents take more than they can reasonably handle, resulting in poor customer service or a higher transaction failure rate. Some of these companies give the buyer a discount. This discount comes from the commission of the agent and can make it even more difficult for agents to provide good service to their customers. I&39;ve heard a lot of complaints about agents missing after signing a contract or agents refusing to show homes to buyers looking for homes at the bottom of the market, but still wishing to draw up the contract and get a commission paid; mandate.
The third type of real estate website is independent brokers or independent brokers. These companies are generally owned and operated by seasoned agents who have the skills and knowledge to create a good quality website and provide good service to both buyers and sellers. You&39;ll find the same home search tools and e-mail notifications as on larger sites and, as these sites serve local communities, they often contain more information about the areas they&39;re in. serve and consumers can learn more about the agents they want to use. in the buying or selling of their homes. These companies may have one or more agents working together, in a team or as independent agents, and generally have a higher closing rate. What makes these sites the best choice for buyers or home sellers, it is the agents who accompany them.
The fourth type of real estate website is the website of independent agents. These websites are built by the individual agent or a third party on behalf of the agent. They can be as good as the big commercial sites depending on the skills, time and money that an agent is willing to invest. These agents can be very good agents but most of them are just over a page of public CVs published by agents hoping to attract buyers or sellers to the agent he promotes. .
So, when investigating a real estate website, buyers and sellers should keep in mind that a website is not going to help you buy or sell your home, it&39;s the real estate agent. The website is a way to find the right agent to do the job. Think of it this way, since you can get information about homes from almost every website, what is the value of a website? The value lies in the service you receive from an agent who can save you time, money and save you from the grief of a bad deal or a bad service.