Where have you been searching for homes online? There are literally thousands of websites out there where you can view homes. A very large proportion of my clients originated from the web so I make it a point to research all the options thoroughly. Here are are my thoughts on the matter.
Do Not Use Trulia & Zillow – these are national portals that are in the business of selling advertising space to real estate agents. Both sites have gorgeous user-interfaces but…. and this is a BIG but – these sites DO NOT have direct feeds to the MLS. Their listing data comes from a variety of other sources. This means that their data is fraught with inaccuracies. The price could be old or worse yet, the house might already be sold.
Realtor.com – Contrary to what you may think, Realtor.com isn’t a “member benefit” to those of us shelling out $400 bucks a year so we can put that little “R” on our lapel. It’s actually run by a MOVE, multi-billion dollar conglomerate who is also in the business of making money off Realtors by selling advertising space. However, if I were going to use one of the big national sites, this would be the one because it IS connected to the local MLS and is updated multiple times a day.
Realtracs.com IS the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Realtracs is where us agents go to find property. There is no better place to find accurate and up to date info. As agents, we have access to a completely different system than you do as a consumer. Our side is robust and thorough. Your side, well, it sucks. The user-interface is awful. You can’t save searches or create a profile or anything like that, but there is a reason for this. Realtracs sends its data to agent and broker sites called IDX (Internet Data Exchange) providers. These vendors package the MLS feeds into pretty displays so Realtors and real estate companies can display listings on their own privately branded websites. There are probably about 100 IDX vendors out there and I’ve looked at all of them and settled on…
NestingInNashville.net is my site and it’s powered by Market Leader which shines in many ways. It’s great for previewing neighborhood listings at a glance and it offers amazing community research options on demographics. If you would like to set up your own custom search that automatically notifies you when a home hits the market in a targeted area or price range, it’s is a fabulous site for that. And yes, my site has ALL this listings. It’s updated daily.
I hope this helps. If you’d like me to set up a search that automatically notifies you of new listings, I’d be happy to do that. Send me an email with a list as detailed as you like, and I’ll find the right program for you.
BONUS TIP: would you like to search for homes on your cell phone? Scan this QR code and save the link to your favorites: