By Mark Bolender.
Picture is copyrighted and courtesy of FreeBirdPhotos and Shutterstock
The internet has changed the style and process of the home search for the past 23 years. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of real estate search websites. In addition, there are many thousands of real estate IDX agent web sites which shower the modern buyer with loads of both fresh and sometimes old information.
The purpose of these search sites featuring real estate listings is both to share information, while also collecting your personal information. With your personal information, they can sell you real estate now and or possibly sell you something else in the future. These sites retrieve all real estate listings from the Multiple Listing Service portals but these sites are not always quite as fresh as the MLS source itself. Which sites truly protect your information?
We do encourage our buyer clients to feel free to search the more reputable sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.Com for real estate listings. As in the past, buyers who prefer this self-directed search process will then forward the newly found listings to me so I can verify its status, access and duplicity in our Multiple Listing Service. This is fine.
However, many savvy buyers just hire a Realtor and or Broker Associate like me to scour the MLS, Zillow, Trulia and other lender REO foreclosure lists. The main reason is that a good Realtor isn’t going to miss anything in his 24/7 automated searches for his clients. The second reason is that an intellectual buyer really wants his or her information protected by one agency, not many different ones. This is the best, safest and most professional way to search.
After all, why should the buyer have to work so hard searching for same exact listings I’ll send them, while at the same time giving up personal information to half the world? A smart buyer can just entrust it to a single broker associate in a large firm like mine who has privacy standards in place, as well as E & O Insurance. Be safe, not sorry later.
Our Buyer Representation Process: After our initial consultation over the phone or in person, we do issue the buyer an email link with a list of the current available properties that match the buyer’s search criteria. This totally cool software then monitors the listing databases 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Whenever a new listing comes on the market or an existing one reduces the price, the buyer and I are again notified via a collaborative automated email listing alert.
We make it easy for the buyer to mark up the listings he likes. Buyer just needs to click on the email link and designate the properties he really likes with a heart icon or a lightbulb icon if buyer just slightly interested. Properties that buyer doesn’t like at all can be manually marked by click its trash can icon. Buyer can leave me his comments at same time.