Ten years ago, a search for real estate would have were only available in the office of an area real estate agent or by just driving around town. At the agent’s office, you’ll spend an afternoon flipping through pages of active property listings from the neighborhood Multiple Listing Service (MLS). After choosing properties of interest, you’ll spend weeks touring each property and soon you found the right one. Finding market data to help you assess the price tag would take more time and a lot more driving, and Foreclosures you still might not be able to find all the information you had a need to get really comfortable with a fair market value.
Today, most property searches start the Internet. A quick keyword explore Google by location will likely get you thousands of results. If you spot a property of interest on a genuine estate web site, you can typically view photos online and maybe even take a virtual tour. After that you can check other Web sites, including the local county assessor, to get an idea of the property’s value, see what the current owner paid for the house, check the real estate taxes, get census data, school information, and even check out what shops are within walking distance-all without leaving your house!
While the resources online are convenient and helpful, with them properly could be a challenge because of the volume of information and the issue in verifying its accuracy. During writing, a search of “Denver real estate” returned 2,670,000 Internet sites. Even a neighborhood specific seek out real estate can simply return thousands of Sites. With so many resources online how does an investor effectively utilize them without getting bogged down or winding up with incomplete or bad information? Believe it or not, understanding how the business of real estate works offline makes it easier to understand online property information and strategies.
The Business of Real Estate
Real estate is normally bought and sold either through a licensed agent or directly by the dog owner. The vast majority is bought and sold through real estate agents. (We use “agent” and “broker” to make reference to the same professional.) This is due to their property knowledge and experience and, at the very least historically, their exclusive usage of a database of active properties on the market. Access to this database of property listings provided probably the most efficient way to search for properties.
The MLS (and CIE)
The database of residential, land, and smaller income producing properties (including some commercial properties) is often referred to as a multiple listing service (MLS). Generally, only properties listed by member realtors can be added to an MLS. The primary reason for an MLS is to enable the member real estate agents to make offers of compensation to other member agents if they find a buyer for a house.
This purposes didn’t include enabling the direct publishing of the MLS information to the public; times change. Today, most MLS information is directly accessible to the public over the Internet in many different forms.
Commercial property listings are also displayed online but aggregated commercial property information is more elusive. Larger MLSs often operate a commercial information exchange (CIE). A CIE is comparable to an MLS but the agents adding the listings to the database are not required to offer any specific type of compensation to another members. Compensation is negotiated beyond your CIE.