Friday, May 21, 2010

Search the MLS, part 3

Here are the Cliff Notes for part 1 and part 2 of this Pulitzer-winning series on why home shoppers who think they can search the MLS are mistaken:



There is no 1 MLS, there are only lots of city-wide, regional or statewide MLSs.

Consumers can’t search the MLS for their region directly because that database is private and for subscribers only. (i.e. Realtors, appraisers, etc.)

Instead, consumers can view a data feed from the private MLSs. This is shown on thousands of public websites like Trulia and Zillow, Realtor.com and the like.

For a variety of reasons, the housing data consumers on public real estate websites is often imperfect, incomplete, out of date or inaccurate.

Now that you’re all caught up, we’ll move on. But note that consumers can get as close as humanly possible to searching the private database called the Arizona Regional MLS by using our "Search Phoenix Homes" button, up above.



Finding the Seller’s Realtor is Difficult.


A very few sites make it easy to find & contact the seller’s Realtor. Trulia.com does this and so does Homes.com


margy court on trulia DOT com (click any graphic to enlarge it)


Several websites list the brokerage who represents the seller but not the individual agent. Realtor.com and MLSonline.com are two of these.


Margy court on Realtor DOT com revised



Most sites offer no opportunity to locate and contact the seller’s Realtor. In fact, many websites try to purposely misdirect consumers into contacting a Realtor connected with the displaying website. Among these: ZipRealty, Redfin.com, AZmoves.com (which is the Greater Phoenix Coldwell Banker website) and a whole ton of others.


margy court on zillow


Finding the seller’s Realtor on a typical home for sale is difficult enough. Communicating with Realtors who list bank owned homes is next to impossible, mostly because they’re so over-busy.


Our colleague Kris Berg San Diego Castles Realty posted a really funny cartoon about how difficult it is to get in touch with the agents who list bank owned real estate.


If you’re a buyer trying to reach the seller’s Realtor on a bank owned foreclosure (REO) home, you should also try winning the lottery. Or accurately predicting the end of Lost.


Tomorrow. . . is there a benefit in finding and working with the seller’s Realtor? In other words, is all that beating your head against the wall worthwhile?