Beware of Home Search Sites

Everyone knows that one of the best places to search for homes is on line. While some folks still look at the newspaper,  a majority of buyers take to the net for their home search. With such easy access to homes comes numerous pitfalls, and today’s post will discuss this.

Before getting into the main problems of some home search sites, let’s start with a little history lesson. Back before the internet was in existence, most data relating to homes was only available at the local real estate office. For example, if you wanted to buy a home in Gates Mills, you would  have to sit down with an agent in a Gates Mills office to see the inventory.

The Multiple Listing Service then came into play making it easy for agents to share data with each other, but consumers did not have access to this information.  They still had to go through an agent to see the inventory.

Now, all listing information is readily available on line for everyone to see. In fact, sites that show home listings are among the most popular in the country, receiving millions of visitors every month. What has happened over time is that non real estate companies saw the power of having all of these visitors and wanted to “get into the game”. The main problem is that many of these companies are not giving consumers accurate information.

Some companies, like Realtor.com, do offer accurate information as they get their data feed directly from the original source.  Others, however, do not. On many of these secondary sites, the information is simply wrong. Prices are getting changed, square footage is off and the status of homes is not up to date. It is not uncommon to see a home advertised that is no longer on the market. Home sellers are also getting angry when seeing their personal home being misrepresented on line. Basically, brokers have begun to lose control of their data.

Once on line, it is nearly impossible to have information corrected. That is why so many real estate companies nationwide are considering not sharing their listing information with anyone else. Until everything gets sorted out, consumers are paying the ultimate price by being subjected to bad information.

WHAT SHOULD A HOME BUYER DO?

Be careful about where you search for homes. We recommend a site that provides the most up to date information. Our personal home search tool gets its information directly from our local Multiple Listing Service and is the most accurate data you will find. You can find it by clicking the “search for homes” icon on the top right hand side of this page or go to the home page of our website, www.schumanteam.com. Here is what it looks like:

Once here, you can see current listings, create your personal home search and get homes emailed to you automatically. Or, you are welcome to contact us, let us know what you want, and we can create a personal home search for you.

Also, if you find a home on line that you really want to see, it is best to check with your agent to make sure it is still “active”. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve had buyers ask me about a home they saw somewhere on line and it was no longer available.

In the end, information will always be a valuable commodity and having a knowledgeable agent to help with your home search will definitely make a difference.

 

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About The Authors

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

Beware of Home Search Sites is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.

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