Believing These 5 Myths About Real Estate Agents Keeps You From Growing

Ten years ago, a seek out real estate would have were only available in the office of an area real estate agent or by just driving around town. At the agent’s office, you would spend a day flipping through pages of active property listings from the neighborhood MLS (MLS). After choosing properties of interest, you’ll spend many weeks touring each property and soon you found the correct one. Finding market data to enable you to assess the price tag would take more time and much more driving, and you still may not be able to find all the information you needed to get really comfortable with a fair market value.

Today, most property searches start on the Internet. An instant keyword search on Google by location will likely get you a large number of results. If you spot a property of interest on a real estate web site, you can typically view photos online and maybe even take a virtual tour. After that you can check other Web sites, including the local county assessor, to get a concept of the property’s value, see what the current owner paid for the house, check the true estate taxes, get census data, school information, and even check out what shops are within walking distance-all without leaving your home!

While the resources online are convenient and helpful, using them properly can be a challenge because of the level of information and the difficulty in verifying its accuracy. During writing, a search of “Denver real estate” returned 2,670,000 Web sites. Even a neighborhood specific seek out real estate can easily return thousands of Sites. With so many resources online how does an investor effectively use 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 easier to understand online real estate information and strategies.

The Business of Real Estate

Real estate is normally bought and sold either by way of a licensed real estate agent or directly by the dog owner. The vast majority is bought and sold through real estate agents. (We use “agent” and “broker” to refer to the same professional.) This is due to their real estate knowledge and experience and, at least historically, their exclusive access to a database of active properties for sale. Usage of 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 commonly referred to as a mls (MLS). In many instances, only properties listed by member real estate agents can be put into an MLS. The primary purpose of an MLS would be to enable the member realtors to create offers of compensation to other member agents should they find a buyer for a house.

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 public over the Internet in lots of 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 comparable to an MLS but the agents adding the listings to the database aren’t required to offer any specific kind of compensation to another members. Compensation is negotiated outside the CIE.

Generally, for-sale-by-owner properties can’t be directly added to an MLS and CIE, which are usually maintained by REALTOR associations. The lack of a managed centralized database can make these properties more difficult to find. Traditionally, these properties are found by driving around or looking for ads in the neighborhood newspaper’s real estate listings. A more efficient way to locate for-sale-by-owner properties would be to search for a for-sale-by-owner Internet site in the geographic area.

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

MLS and CIE property listing information was historically only obtainable in hard copy, so when we mentioned, only directly available to realtors members of an MLS or CIE. About a decade ago, this specific property information began to trickle out to the web. This trickle is now a flood!

One reason is that almost all of the 1 million roughly REALTORS have Web sites, and most of those Web sites have varying amounts of the neighborhood MLS or CIE property information displayed in it. Another reason is that there are lots of non-real estate agent Internet 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 info more accessible but additionally more confusing and at the mercy of misunderstanding and misuse.

Real Estate Agents

Despite the flood of property information on the Internet, most properties are still 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 go to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS Web site, http://www.realtor.com, and to the local real estate agent’s Web site. Furthermore, the listing may be displayed on the net site of an area newspaper. In essence, the Internet is just another form of marketing offered by today’s real estate agent, but it has a much broader reach compared to the old print advertising.

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

Changes in the technology behind the real estate business have caused many agents to change the way they conduct business. In large part, this is due to the access immediately most consumers now have to property listings along with other real estate information. In addition, the Internet and other technologies have automated much of the marketing and initial searching process for real estate. For example, consumers can view properties online and make inquires via email. Brokers can use automated programs to send listings to consumers that match their property criteria. So, some agents now limit the services they offer and change their fees accordingly. A realtor may offer to advertise the property in the MLS but only provide limited additional services. In the foreseeable future, some real estate agents may offer services in more of an ala carte fashion.

Because of the volume of real estate information on the web, when people hire a real estate agent today they should consider the particular services offered 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 friends and family. The Internet now provides methods to directly find qualified agents or to research the biography of an agent referred to you offline. One particular site, AgentWorld.com, is quickly becoming the LinkedIn or Facebook for realtors. On this site a realtor can personalize their profile, start a blog, post photos and videos and also create a link to their web site for free. Once unique content is added to their profile page the various search engines notice!

Some have argued that the web makes REALTORS and the MLS less relevant. We believe this is false in the end. It could change the role of the agent but will make knowledgeable, qualified, and professional REALTORS more relevant than ever. In fact, the quantity of realtors has risen significantly in recent years. No wonder, the Internet has made local real estate a global business. Besides, Internet or not, the easy fact remains that the purchase of real property may be the largest single purchase most people make in their life (or, for most investors, the largest multiple purchases over a lifetime) and they want expert help. Are you aware that MLS, it remains the most reliable source of property listing and sold information available and continues to enable efficient marketing of properties. So, what’s the function of all the online real estate information?

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