In today’s digital age, real estate consumers have several online options to help in their search for a new home. There are a variety of apps and websites for mobile and desktop users to choose from that provide customized listings for homes on the market.
Online sites and apps can provide helpful information for home shoppers in the Denver Front Range, but the role of the real estate broker extends beyond that of the digital home searches.
We’ll discuss some of the features and problems of Internet-based home listings, as well some reasons why a Realtor can add extra benefits to searching for a new home to purchase.
Popular Sites Providing Search Tools for Home Buyers
The more popular online resources for home buyers include Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com and Redfin. These sites provide a list of results based on your search criteria for buying a new home. Some of their features include information about the homes and the areas they’re in, as well as user-friendly maps.
Trulia and Zillow are two of the more popular online home search sites, partially due to their successful online marketing strategies. These platforms provide home search results by pulling listings from public records and the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) listings. These sites are able to access MLS listings, but they are not updated as often as having direct access to the MLS site.
Realtor.com is run by NAR (National Association of Realtors) and is a site that pulls listings from MLS on a more regular basis. NAR establishes a good relationship with the local Realtor database (MLS). Because of this, the local MLS shares data more frequently and accurately. This site serves as a nice starting point to use for both consumers and real estate agents, as the listings are fairly current.
Redfin offers great mobile app functionality for Android and iPhone users. Other sites mentioned also offer mobile apps, but Redfin’s features and mobile interface make it a nice tool for cellphone users. Redfin is a national brokerage, thus the app serves as a promotional tool for them.
Problems with Home Search Sites and Apps
The above mentioned platforms are great tools for home buyers to search for available homes, but they lack in efficiency and accuracy for a few reasons.
Sometimes, listings pulled from public records include name changes, divorces, and foreclosures listed as “coming on the market soon”. These listed properties are not actually going to be available to purchase on the market. Interest in these homes can result in wasted time and effort towards a home that isn’t for sale.
Further, these sites can pull listings from the MLS, but the direct access to MLS provides real-time information on new listings. Only licensed Realtors have direct access to MLS services.
Also, home search sites often provide limited information on the history of the houses for sale. For example, if there is a price reduction on a property, then full disclosure of information on the matter is hard to come by.
Lastly, many of the listings provided by home search sites are made not to sell these homes, but for leads to a broker. Internet browsers using their search services are great leads as potential clients to real estate brokers associated with the sites. A home may be not be listed, but a user will still be shown the property online in order to produce a lead on purchasing another home.
How a Real Estate Broker Serves Your Home Search Needs
When it comes to searching for the right home for buyers, it all comes down to accuracy of the information about listings. An experienced Realtor can solve many of the problems associated with accurately searching for a home.
Finding a listing on a map is a nice start, but knowledge of the neighborhood and the area are not made available by a search engine. Quality real estate brokers can provide you with a general sense of what the communities are like in any given part of the Denver Metro Area without you having to hop in the car and make assumptions based on your drive through the area.
As mentioned, home search sites do pull listings from MLS, but only Realtors have direct access to the most up to date listings from the service. Denver Realtors also have access to other means of exclusive information via local and state real estate organizations.
A real estate broker has better overall access to information and general Denver Area knowledge, making the real estate process more efficient.
Contact one of our licensed Realtors from our boutique Denver brokerage at Scout Real Estate Group, 303.399.4508. Start you customized Scout Home Search today!