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Why You Shouldn’t Always Trust Those Popular Realty Sites When Searching for a Home

Here’s why you still need to hire a real estate broker

These days, it can be awfully tempting to use the Internet for everything. Need a new hammer? There’s a hardware store down the street, but let’s just buy it online. Hungry? Just order through a restaurant’s website and have it delivered. There’s no denying how great the Internet can be, but it’s not foolproof.

For example, if you’re planning to buy a new home, your first instinct may be to go to one of the popular realty websites like Zillow or Realtor.com. Chances are you’ve perused them before. Perhaps you even found what looked like a great house at a good price only to discover that the listing wasn’t as it seemed. That’s the problem.

Here’s why those sites can be confusing when you’re shopping for a home:

Old listings

When a property comes on the market, it can be in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) within a few minutes. However, it may not make it to a realty site for up to nine days! And if this is a hot property, it may be long gone by then. This means that you could have your heart set on a home and even want to make an offer, only to discover that it was sold a week ago. Not only is this frustrating, you’ve wasted precious time that you could’ve used to find more current listings.

Fewer listings

In addition to old listings, many sites don’t show you all of the properties on the market. So now you are wasting more time by only looking at only a fraction of the homes available. You may think that what they’re offering is all you have to choose from when in fact there could be many more out there.

Wrong home values

Everybody wants to know what their house is worth, and it’s easy to plug in your information on Zillow to get a “Zestimate.” Don’t put too much stock in it, however. Those estimates can be off. How far off? Zillow reveals this disparity themselves. When a home sells, they publicize what they thought it was worth, and about one-third of the time, they are within five percent of the actual sale price. Half the time they are within 10 percent.

When we’re talking about thousands of dollars, these percentage points can mean a huge difference. You may have an over-inflated idea of what your home is worth. Conversely, the projection could short change you, which means you may go into a negotiation with that incorrect lower value in mind.

Confusing advertising

If you look at a listing online, you may think that the real estate agent featured in the ad next to it is selling the house. That’s not necessarily the case. Agents are permitted to buy ads next to listings that aren’t theirs, which means that instead of contacting the listing agent, you’ll get the ad agent, someone who is paying the website for leads. This can be another waste of time, plus now this agent will have all of your contact information and you could receive unwanted emails and phone calls.

The Internet is great for so many things, but when it comes to buying a home, you can’t only rely on realty websites. Only an experienced real estate broker can give you the most up-to-date listings and guide you through the entire home-buying process.

If you’re looking to move, get in touch with our No Limit Real Estate. Give us a call at 954.300.2525 or send us an email at info@nolimitre.com so we can get started on finding you the perfect new home.

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