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 a local real estate agent or by just driving around town. At the agent’s office, you would spend an afternoon flipping through pages of active property listings from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). After choosing properties of interest, you would spend many weeks touring each property until you found the correct one. Finding market data to help you assess the asking price would take more time and much more driving, and you still might not be 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 search on Google by location will probably get you a large number of results. If you spot a property of interest on a genuine estate web site, it is possible to typically view photos online and perhaps even have a virtual tour. You can then check other Web sites, including the local county assessor, to obtain a concept of the property’s value, see what the existing 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 on the web are convenient and helpful, with them properly could be a challenge because of the level of information and the issue in verifying its accuracy. During writing, a search of “Denver property” returned 2,670,000 Web sites. Even a neighborhood specific seek out real estate can simply return thousands of Internet 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? Contrary to popular belief, understanding how the business enterprise of real estate works offline makes it simpler 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 purchased 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 usage of a database of active properties for sale. Usage of 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). Generally, only properties listed by member realtors can be put into an MLS. The primary reason for an MLS is to enable the member realtors to make 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 general public; times change. Today, most MLS information is directly accessible to the public over the Internet in lots of different forms.

houses for sale chester 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 similar to an MLS but the agents adding the listings to the database are not necessary to offer any specific kind of compensation to another members. Compensation is negotiated outside the CIE.

Normally, for-sale-by-owner properties cannot be directly added to an MLS and CIE, which are usually maintained by REALTOR associations. The lack of a managed centralized database could make these properties more difficult to find. Traditionally, these properties are located by driving around or looking for ads in the local newspaper’s real estate listings. A 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.

Exactly what is a REALTOR? Sometimes the terms real estate agent and REALTOR are employed interchangeably; however, they are not similar. A REALTOR is 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 began to trickle out to the web. This trickle is now 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 in it. Another reason is that there are numerous non-real estate agent 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 web definitely makes the info more accessible but also more confusing and at the mercy of misunderstanding and misuse.

Real Estate Agents

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

In addition to Online marketing, listing agents may also 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 known as being a full service listing arrangement. While full service listing arrangements will be the most common kind of listing arrangement, they are not the only option anymore.

Changes in the technology behind the true estate business have caused many agents to improve the way they conduct business. In large part, that is due to the instant access most consumers now have to property listings and other real estate information. Furthermore, the Internet and other technologies have automated a lot of the marketing and initial searching process for property. For instance, consumers can view properties online and make inquires via email. Brokers may use automated programs to send listings to people 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 realtors may offer services in more of an ala carte fashion.

Because of the level of real estate information on the Internet, 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 access to 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 also create a link to their web site free of charge. Once unique content is put into their profile page the various search engines notice!

Some have argued that the web makes REALTORS and the MLS less relevant. We believe this will be false over time. It may change the role of the agent but can make knowledgeable, qualified, and professional REALTORS more relevant than ever. In fact, the quantity of real estate agents has risen significantly in recent years. No wonder, the Internet has made local property a worldwide business. Besides, Internet or not, the simple fact remains that the purchase of real property may be the largest single purchase a lot of people make in their life (or, for many investors, the biggest multiple purchases over a lifetime) and they want specialist help. Are you aware that MLS, it remains probably the most reliable source of real estate 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?