The world we live in today is a digital one, and searching for a home is no different. According to the annual survey conducted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, for 42 percent of recent buyers, the first step that they took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale (up from 36 percent in 2010), while 14 percent of buyers first contacted a real estate agent.

Over 90 percent of real estate firms have websites, and the most common feature on their websites are property listings. There are also many 3rd party real estate websites such as Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com. Online searching maximizes the ability to compare and contrast homes on the market by selected features. Online listings have virtual tours so viewers can look at a bunch of potential homes while narrowing down their search to a select few in the effort to save time. However many website are misleading.

What Real Estate Web Sites Won’t Tell You

Let’s take a look at the internet descriptions.

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If you read these descriptions, it seems like you don’t need the Realtor to search homes because you can search all the homes, having access to the MLS like Realtors do. But that’s not the case at all. In fact, such verbiage is not approved by SANDICOR (San Diego MLS). Using the initials “MLS” is considered misleading to the public, as they are not actually searching the MLS, but a specific set of data from the MLS. Also, you can not say “search every/all listing(s)”, because there are a small percentage of brokers and home sellers that have opted out of IDX (Internet Data Exchange), so those listings are not going to be found in any IDX solution. (Refer to Sandicor Rules; Regulations. 12.18).

Why Opt out of IDX

We have dealt with some homeowners that did not want to advertise on line, put “For Sale” sign, hold broker caravans because they don’t want neighbors to know that their home is for sale. They said ” I don’t want them snooping around my home!.”

It is true that some home buyers are not thoughtful, they sometimes walk around the house, take pictures even if there is a sign saying “Do not disturb occupants”, in some cases they knock on door and try to talk to occupants to get some information.

For some homeowners privacy is more important than the internet marketing.

How search all the homes on MLS

Even if you are not ready to buy home at this moment if you are thinking about buying in 6 months or later, you should contact a Realtor and set up a search from directly from MLS. With such tight inventory, you do not want to miss any homes on the MLS. Remember, only a licensed realtor who is a member of local MLS can search all the homes on MLS. Many home buyers might start searching homes online but 87 percent of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker according to the annual survey conducted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Also Read: Zillow and Trulia Lost a lot of Listing Data