Real Estate Agents, the Internet and How to Buy and Sold Real Estate Today

You can choose between Now and Then

Ten years back, a search to find real estate started at the local office of a real estate agent. Or by simply driving around the city. After spending an afternoon browsing through pages of listings from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), you’d return to the agent’s offices. After you’ve selected properties of interest, it would take you many weeks to tour each property and find the right one. Finding market data to allow you to estimate the asking cost would take you more time, require more driving, and you may not be able get the information that you need in order to arrive at a fair value

The Internet is where most property searches begin Patrick Goswitz. today. Google will provide thousands of results for a simple keyword search. If you see a property of particular interest on a website for real estate, you can often view photos online and even take a virtual visit. Check out other sites like the local county assessor to get an idea about the property’s price, the actual owner’s payment, the school data, and more. All of this is done without you even having to leave your house.

Although the Internet provides many helpful and convenient resources, properly using them can prove challenging due to the volume of information as well as the difficulty in verifying it. At the time this writing, a search on “Denver realty” returned 2,670,000 results. Even a local search for realty can return many thousands of web sites. It is difficult to know how to effectively make use of the many resources available online. It’s possible to understand the business of real-estate offline, and it is easier to understand online strategies and information.

Real Estate Business

A licensed real estate agent is usually used to sell property. The owner may also buy and sell it. The majority of real property is sold and bought through real estate brokers. (We use the terms “agent” and “broker to refer to the exact same professional. This is due to their extensive real estate knowledge and history and their exclusive access, historically at least, to a database with active properties for sale. This database is the best resource for property searches.

The MLS (and CIE).

The multiple listing service (MLS), is a system that allows you to list residential, land and small income-producing properties. An MLS can usually only be added to by member agents. An MLS has two primary purposes. It allows members real estate agents to offer compensation to other agent if they find a buyer.

These purposes did NOT include allowing direct publishing of MLS information. However, times have changed. The vast majority of MLS information is now directly available to the public online in many forms.

You can also find commercial property listings online. However, it is difficult to find aggregated commercial property information. Larger MLSs may have a commercial data exchange (CIE). CIE is similar a MLS, but agents that add listings to a database are not required by law to pay any type of compensation. Compensation is negotiable outside the CIE.

For-sale-by owner properties are not usually able to be added to an MLS. These properties may be harder to find due to the lack a central database. These properties can usually be found by driving around and looking for ads on local newspapers’ real property listings. The best way to locate properties for sale-by-owner is to search for a Web site for the local area.

What is a REALTOR? Sometimes the terms REALTOR and real-estate agent are interchangeably used. A REALTOR can be a licensed agent of real estate and a member or the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REATORS. Realtors must adhere to strict codes of ethics and conduct.

MLS and CIE Property Listing Information was once only available in paper copy. As such, it was only available to CIE and MLS members. But, about ten years ago, valuable information began to trickle to the Internet. This trickle of information is now a flood.

One reason is that over 1 million REALTORS own Web sites. These sites often have varying amounts or CIE property information. The other reason is that many websites that are not real estate agents also offer real-estate information. The Internet flood of real estate information has made it easier, but also more complicated and more susceptible to misunderstandings and misuse.