Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why isn’t this property in my search?

If you’ve been looking around at homes to buy, and you’ve talked with us, odds are we’ve built you a personalized MLS web portal, giving you customized access to all the homes listed for sale in the MLS which meet your exact search criteria.

Your web portal shows you ALL the homes which meet your exact criteria.  The opposite is also true; your web portal shows NONE of the homes which don’t meet your exact criteria.

Invariably, you’re going to call or email us a few days later and ask why a particular home isn’t showing up in your web portal.  Maybe you drove through the neighborhood you like and saw a For Sale sign, or maybe you were web surfing through homes on a different web site (shame on you!)

There are several reasons why this can happen; here are the most common:

1. Already in Escrow.  If your custom MLS search is only looking for homes currently for sale, you won’t see any homes which are not currently for sale – sold, in escrow, and expired listings won’t be available for your viewing pleasure.  (note: we can add these homes to your search so you can watch a specific home’s progression from Active to Pending to Sold – just depends on your preferences...)

2. Short Sale.  Most likely we’ve eliminated short sales from your search, for a list of reasons long enough to warrant its own post!  It’s very likely that the home you’ve found (and which isn’t in your search) is a short sale.

3. Doesn’t Fit Your Criteria.  Your search is based on the specific criteria you requested, which might include: price, square footage, # of bedrooms, # of garage bays, lot size, swimming pool (must have, must not have, must have a fence, etc.), age of home, type of heating source (electric or gas), # of levels, split bedrooms, subdivision name, school boundaries, etc. etc. etc.  Homes which don’t meet your exact criteria won’t be in your search.

3a. Advice – make your criteria count.  I recommend only using search criteria which will MAKE OR BREAK your decision.  The more criteria you have, the more specific your search will be, and the fewer homes you’ll have in your MLS web portal.  (And the more homes you’ll see elsewhere which didn’t get into your portal.)  For many people, it’s better to cast a wider net (with fewer search criteria) and manually sift through the results..

4. Not in MLS.  It’s possible, although unlikely, that the home you found isn’t in the MLS at all.  If that’s the case we can probably still help you track down more specific information about it and represent your best interests during the transaction.

Still want to know more about that home you found?  Give us a call & we’ll look it up for you!

Your searching, sifting, and sorting Realtor,

Chris Butterworth