Believing These 5 Myths About REALTORS Keeps You From Growing

Ten years ago, a search for real estate would have were only available in the office of a local real estate agent or by simply driving around town. At the agent’s office, you would spend an afternoon flipping through pages of active property listings from the local MLS (MLS). After choosing properties of interest, you’ll spend weeks touring each property until you found the right one. Finding market data to enable you to assess the asking price would take more time and a lot more driving, and you still is probably not able to find all the information you needed to get really comfortable with a good market value.

Today, most property searches start the Internet. A quick keyword explore Google by location will likely get you thousands of results. If you spot a property of interest on a genuine estate web site, you can typically view photos online and maybe even have a virtual tour. You can then check other Web sites, such as the local county assessor, to obtain a concept of the property’s value, see what the existing owner paid for the house, check the real estate taxes, get census data, school information, and also have a look at what shops are within walking distance-all without leaving your home!

While the resources on the web are convenient and helpful, with them properly can be quite a challenge because of the level of information and the difficulty in verifying its accuracy. At the time of writing, a search of “Denver property” returned 2,670,000 Internet sites. Even a neighborhood specific search for real estate can easily return thousands of Web sites. With so many resources online so how exactly does an investor effectively utilize them without getting bogged down or winding up with incomplete or bad information? Believe it or not, understanding how the business enterprise of real estate works offline makes it better to understand online property information and strategies.

The Business of Real Estate

Real estate is typically bought and sold either through a licensed real estate agent or directly by the dog owner. The vast majority is purchased and sold through real estate agents. (We use “agent” and “broker” to refer to the same professional.) That is due to their real estate knowledge and experience and, at the very least historically, their exclusive usage of a database of active properties for sale. Access to this database of property listings provided probably the most efficient way to seek out properties.

The MLS (and CIE)

The database of residential, land, and smaller income producing properties (including some commercial properties) is often referred to as a mls (MLS). In most cases, only properties listed by member real estate agents can be added to an MLS. The primary reason for an MLS would be to enable the member real estate agents to make offers of compensation to other member agents if they find a buyer for a property.

This purposes didn’t include enabling the direct publishing of the MLS information to the public; times change. Today, most MLS information is directly accessible to the general public over the Internet in many different forms.

Commercial property listings may also be displayed online but aggregated commercial property information is more elusive. Larger MLSs often operate a commercial information exchange (CIE). A CIE is similar to an MLS but the agents adding the listings to the database are not necessary to offer any specific type of compensation to another members. Compensation is negotiated beyond your CIE.

Usually, for-sale-by-owner properties cannot be directly added to an MLS and CIE, which are typically maintained by REALTOR associations. Having less a managed centralized database could make these properties more difficult to locate. Traditionally, these properties are found by driving around or searching for ads in the neighborhood newspaper’s real estate listings. A far more efficient solution to locate for-sale-by-owner properties would be to search for a for-sale-by-owner Web site in the geographic area.

What is a REALTOR? Sometimes the terms agent and REALTOR are used interchangeably; however, they are not similar. A REALTOR is really a licensed real estate agent who is also a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. REALTORS are required to comply with a strict code of ethics and conduct.

MLS and CIE property listing information was historically only obtainable in hard copy, and as we mentioned, only directly available to realtors members of an MLS or CIE. About a decade ago, this valuable property information started to trickle out to the Internet. This trickle is currently a flood!

One reason is that almost all of the 1 million roughly REALTORS have Web sites, & most of those Sites have varying amounts of the neighborhood MLS or CIE property information displayed in it. Another reason is that there are plenty of non-real estate agent Sites that also offer property information, including, for-sale-by-owner sites, foreclosure sites, regional and international listing sites, County assessor sites, and valuation and market websites. The flood of real estate information to the Internet definitely makes the information more accessible but also more confusing and at the mercy of misunderstanding and misuse.

Real Estate Agents

Despite the flood of real estate information on the web, most properties remain sold directly through real estate agents listing properties in the neighborhood MLS or CIE. However, those property listings do not stay local anymore. By its nature, the web is really a global marketplace and local MLS and CIE listings are normally disseminated for display on many different Web sites. For instance, many visit the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS Site, http://www.realtor.com, also to the local property agent’s Web site. Furthermore, the listing could be displayed on the internet site of a local newspaper. In essence, the Internet is just another form of marketing offered by today’s agent, but it has a much broader reach compared to the old print advertising.

In addition to Internet marketing, listing agents also may help the seller establish a price, hold open houses, keep carefully the seller informed of interested buyers and offers, negotiate the contract and help with closing. When an agent provides all of these services it is referred to as being a full service listing arrangement. While full service listing arrangements will be the most common type of listing arrangement, they are not the only real option anymore.

Changes in the technology behind the true estate business have caused many agents to improve the way they do business. In large part, that is due to the instant access most consumers will have to property listings and other real estate information. Furthermore, the Internet along with other technologies have automated a lot of the marketing and initial searching process for real estate. For example, consumers can view properties online and make inquires via email. Brokers may use automated programs to send listings to people that match their property criteria. So, some agents now limit the services they offer and change their fees accordingly. An agent may offer to advertise the house in the MLS but only provide limited additional services. Later on, some realtors may offer services in more of an ala carte fashion.

Because of the volume of real estate information on the web, when people hire an agent today they should look at the particular services provided by the agent and the depth of their experience and knowledge in the relevant property sector. It really is no longer just about usage of property listing information. Buyers and sellers historically found agents by referrals from family and friends. The Internet now provides methods to directly find qualified agents or even to research the biography of a realtor referred to you offline. One such site, AgentWorld.com, is quickly becoming the LinkedIn or Facebook for real estate agents. On this site an agent can personalize their profile, start a blog, post photos and videos and also create a link to their web site free of charge. Once unique content is added to their profile page the search engines notice!

Some have argued that the web makes REALTORS and the MLS less relevant. We believe this is false in the long run. It may change the role of the agent but will make knowledgeable, qualified, and professional REALTORS more relevant than ever before. In fact, the number of real estate agents has risen significantly recently. No wonder, the web has made local property a global business. chester houses for sale Besides, Internet or not, the easy fact remains that the purchase of real property is the largest single purchase most people make within their life (or, for most investors, the biggest multiple purchases over a lifetime) and they want expert help. As for the MLS, it remains the most reliable source of property listing and sold information available and continues to enable efficient marketing of properties. So, what is the function of all online real estate information?

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