Why it feels homes sell before you get to them

In todays competitive real estate market many buyers find themseves frustrated at their choice of homes available. This can be especially true of those home buyers scouring the web without the help of a real estate professional or at least a competent one.

The would be buyer will perform countless searches through consumer websites such as Trulia and Zillow, locate the perfect property at the right price only to call the listing agent who informs them that the property in question is no longer available. But how can this be? I’m online right now and it shows the property is for sale and has only been on the market for 1 day!

The reality of sites such as Trulia and Zillow is they far from accurate. It has been my experience with new listings that they may take as much as 5 days to show on consumer sites. These websites have syndication agreements which allow them to pull listing information from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and distribute them to their website. The issue here is how often they do so makes these less than up to date.

Another reason why one might find themselves aimlessly calling agents on properties which unknown to them have already accepted an offer is due to a simple word. “Contingent”. Contingent is the term which describes a property, mostly short sales, has an accepted offer and is no longer available. The contingency is the offer must now be submitted to the short sale lender for approval. Many consumer sites do not have a “Contingent” category for properties so most end up reflecting as if they were “Active” or “Available” which they are as described above not.

What’s the fix?
To be honest the best way to have up to date listings is to work with a professional Realtor who is proactive in getting you the information as it becomes available. This will save you lots of time and save your agent lots of grief in looking up every MLS # or property address you found only to let you know they are not available.

For those who insist on being lone rangers and would rather do it themselves, the best option I can recommend is Realtor.com. Realtor.com is a consumer site developed by the National Association of Realtors and actually updates listings within minutes as well as categories “Contingent” listings as such, eliminating confusion and disappointment among home buyers.

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About Daniel Di Matteo

Realtor at CENTURY 21 Award, Daniel was Voted U-T San Diego’s Best Real Estate Agent in 2014. A Husband, Father, and most recently, accomplished Blog writer, which explains your visit today.