Chances are that if you are searching for homes for sale in Los Angeles you are scouring the internet. There are so many sites featuring listings that you are probably all over the place thinking that you are going to have a better choice if you spread your search out across the the internet.
Many people use large, national sites because of name recognition. There is nothing wrong with this, and they have some great bells and whistles to play around with, but the information on some of them is not always up-to-date. Homes shown as active may in fact already be in escrow, because these syndicated sites can take days to update their listings. In a sellers’ market a home buyer doesn’t want to be behind the curve, finding a home that actually came on the market a few days earlier and may already have offers. Also, the famous estimate of a home’s value on the most well-known site are just that, an estimate, arrived at by some automated algorithm that doesn’t take certain factors into consideration, such as the home’s condition, location on a street, view, etc. Only a human can who understands the local market and can physically compare homes in order to provide a good comp.
Buyers often visit several sites to make sure that they don’t miss out on a listing. What they don’t often understand is that all the sites carry the same information. The information originates from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). When an agent enters a listing into the MLS they have the option to select whether it will appear only on the MLS or whether it will be syndicated out to the big portals or through Internet Data Exchanges (IDX) services to which many agents subscribe which allows them to feature listings on their own websites. These days most agents are going to want the maximum exposure for their listings. In rare cases a seller, especially in the high luxury market, may not want their home shown all over the internet, and the listing agent will market the home privately, but the average buyer will probably never get to see the listing.
So the bottom line is when searching many sites on the internet a buyer is just going to find the same listings. The home search process can be frustrating as it is, so why not find a site you like, which is easy to navigate and which seems to show updated information, and stick with it. You won’t miss out. Of course if you use the services of a Realtor®, whose services are at no cost to you, they will have your criteria in mind and send you listings that match those criteria as they come on the market.
Happy home hunting!
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