Turn Your REAL ESTATE AGENT Into A High Performing Machine

Ten years ago, a search for real estate would have started in the office of a local real estate agent or by just driving around town. At the agent’s office, you’ll spend an afternoon flipping through pages of active property listings from the local MLS (MLS). After choosing properties of interest, you would spend many weeks touring each property and soon you found the right one. Finding market data to enable you to assess the asking price would take more time and a lot more driving, and you still is probably not able to find each of the information you had a need to get really comfortable with a good market value.

Today, most property searches start the Internet. An instant keyword search on Google by location will probably get you thousands of results. If you spot a property of interest on a real estate web site, you can typically view photos online and perhaps even have a virtual tour. After that you can check other Web sites, such as the local county assessor, to obtain an idea of the property’s value, see what the existing owner paid for the house, check the real estate taxes, get census data, school information, and even have a look at what shops are within walking distance-all without leaving your home!

While the resources on the web are convenient and helpful, with them properly can be quite a challenge because of the level of information and the difficulty in verifying its accuracy. During writing, a search of “Denver property” returned 2,670,000 Internet 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? Believe it or not, understanding how the business enterprise of real estate works offline makes it better to understand online real estate information and strategies.

The Business of PROPERTY

Real estate is typically bought and sold either through a licensed agent or directly by the owner. The vast majority is bought and sold through real estate agents. (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 on the market. 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 multiple listing service (MLS). Generally, only properties listed by member realtors can be added to an MLS. The primary reason for an MLS is to enable the member real estate agents to create offers of compensation to other member agents should they find a buyer for a property.

This purposes did not include enabling the direct publishing of the MLS information to the public; times change. Today, most MLS information is directly accessible to the general public over the Internet in lots of different forms.

estate agents Commercial property listings are also 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 but the agents adding the listings to the database aren’t necessary to offer any specific type of compensation to another members. Compensation is negotiated beyond your CIE.

Usually, for-sale-by-owner properties cannot be directly put into an MLS and CIE, which are usually maintained by REALTOR associations. Having less a managed centralized database could make these properties more difficult to find. Traditionally, these properties are located by driving around or searching for ads in the local newspaper’s real estate listings. A far more efficient solution to locate for-sale-by-owner properties would be to search for a for-sale-by-owner Web site in the geographic area.

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