Old School REAL ESTATE AGENT

May 24, 2023

Ten years ago, a search for real estate would have started 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 until you found the correct one. Finding market data to help you assess the asking price would take more time and a lot 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 explore Google by location will likely get you a large number 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, including the local county assessor, to get an idea 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 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, with them properly can be a challenge because of the level of information and the issue in verifying its accuracy. At crowdfunding platform provider of writing, a search of “Denver property” returned 2,670,000 Sites. Even a neighborhood specific search for real estate can easily return thousands of Sites. With so many resources online how 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 of property works offline makes it easier 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 owner. The vast majority is purchased and sold through real estate brokers. (We use “agent” and “broker” to refer to the same professional.) That is due to their real estate knowledge and experience and, at least historically, their exclusive access to 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 mls (MLS). Typically, only properties listed by member real estate agents can be put into an MLS. The primary reason for an MLS is to enable the member realtors to create offers of compensation to other member agents should they find a buyer for a house.

This purposes did not include enabling the direct publishing of the MLS information to the general public; times change. Today, most MLS information is directly accessible to the general 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 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 can’t be directly put into 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 located by driving around or searching for ads in the neighborhood newspaper’s real estate listings. A more efficient solution to locate for-sale-by-owner properties is to search for a for-sale-by-owner Internet site in the geographic area.

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