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 a day flipping through pages of active property listings from the neighborhood Multiple Listing Service (MLS). After choosing properties of interest, you would spend many weeks touring each property and soon you found the correct one. Finding market data to help you assess the price tag would take more time and much more driving, and you still may not be able to find all of the information you needed to get really comfortable with a fair market value.

Today, most property searches start the Internet. An instant keyword explore Google by location will probably 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 take a virtual tour. You can then check other Web sites, such as the local county assessor, to get a concept of the property’s value, see what the current owner paid for the property, check the true 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 Internet are convenient and helpful, using them properly can be a challenge because of the level of information and the issue in verifying its accuracy. At the time of writing, a search of “Denver property” returned 2,670,000 Web sites. Even a neighborhood specific search for real estate can simply return thousands of 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? Contrary to popular belief, understanding how the business enterprise of real estate works offline makes it better to understand online real estate information and strategies.

chester estate agents 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 bought and sold through real estate agents. (We use “agent” and “broker” to make reference to the same professional.) That is due to their property 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 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 multiple listing service (MLS). Usually, only properties listed by member realtors can be put into an MLS. The primary purpose of an MLS is to enable the member realtors to make offers of compensation to other member agents should they find a buyer for a property.

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

Commercial property listings are also 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 however 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.

Typically, for-sale-by-owner properties cannot be directly put into 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 located by driving around or searching for ads in the local newspaper’s real estate listings. A far 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.

Exactly what is a REALTOR? Sometimes the terms real estate agent and REALTOR are used interchangeably; however, they are not the same. A REALTOR is really a licensed real estate agent who’s also a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. REALTORS must comply with 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 real estate agents members of an MLS or CIE. About a decade ago, this valuable property information started to trickle out to the web. This trickle is currently a flood!

One reason is that almost all of the 1 million or so REALTORS have Web sites, and most of those Sites have varying amounts of the local MLS or CIE property information displayed on them. Another reason is that there are numerous non-real estate agent Internet sites that also offer real estate 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 additionally more confusing and at the mercy of misunderstanding and misuse.

Real Estate Agents

Despite the flood of real estate information on the Internet, most properties remain sold directly through realtors listing properties in the neighborhood MLS or CIE. However, those property listings usually do not stay local anymore. By its nature, the web is 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 Web site, http://www.realtor.com, also to the local real estate agent’s Web site. In addition, the listing could be displayed on the net 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 the seller informed of interested buyers and offers, negotiate the contract and help with closing. When a realtor provides all these services it is referred to as being a full service listing arrangement. While full service listing arrangements are the most common type of listing arrangement, they’re not the only option anymore.

Changes in the technology behind the real estate business have caused many agents to change the way they do business. In large part, that is due to the access immediately most consumers will have to property listings along with other real estate information. Furthermore, the Internet and other technologies have automated a lot of the marketing and initial searching process for property. 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 house criteria. So, some agents now limit the services they provide and change their fees accordingly. An agent may offer to advertise the property in the MLS but only provide limited additional services. Later on, some real estate agents may offer services in more of an ala carte fashion.

Because of the level of real estate information on the web, when people hire a real estate agent today they should consider the particular services provided by the agent and the depth of these 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 ways to directly find qualified agents or to research the biography of an agent referred to you offline. One such site, AgentWorld.com, is quickly becoming the LinkedIn or Facebook for real estate agents. On this site a realtor can personalize their profile, take up a blog, post photos and videos and even 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 Internet makes REALTORS and the MLS less relevant. We believe this is false over time. It could change the role of the agent but can make knowledgeable, qualified, and professional REALTORS more relevant than ever. In fact, the number of realtors has risen significantly recently. No wonder, the web has made local real estate a worldwide business. 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 many investors, the largest multiple purchases over a lifetime) and they want specialist help. As for the MLS, it remains probably the most reliable source of property listing and sold information available and continues make it possible for efficient marketing of properties. So, what’s the function of all the online real estate information?

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