There’s a lot of ways you can search when you’re interested in buying a property. Some methods are better than others.
Here’s a guide:
The best possible way to search for property 99.9% of the time: contact me. I’ll set you up for an account with our local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Collaboration Center and you can search from there. Using the MLS is faster and more accurate. This is where real estate agents search and where all the property data is housed that “feeds” all the other websites. The information is monitored and regulated by our association of Realtors so while its not perfect, its verified for accuracy and there are standards in place to protect you. The Collaboration Center allows you to Favorite and mark properties as possible matches. My favorite feature is that you can reject properties using a thumbs down, removing them from your search so you don’t have to view properties you don’t like.
In addition to the MLS’s Collaboration Center, feel free to search www.lukeandersonrealestate.com. The search feature on my website is free and there are no pop-ups and I’m not trying to capture your data. I created and continue to pay for the website’s search feature as a safe place to search for anyone to use.
As an agent, I am constantly monitoring social media for real estate opportunities and noticing signs while I’m traveling around the area on appointments. I’ve also bought and sold in most of the areas and have experience with positives and negatives of most neighborhoods. I’m confident that I can help you with your search and I LOVE helping people find what they are looking for in our market.
Other ways you can search:
Ride around and look for properties with For Sale signs. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with neighborhoods and different areas. It’s a great way to spend time with your family on your drive. It’s a terrible way to find real estate. Here’s why: you have no idea if those properties are available for sale. Almost all agents leave their signs until the home closes. It’s free advertising. I do it too because it’s a good way for appraisers and inspectors to find the house during the contract period. It’s a also great way to identify folks that need help finding real estate because if they are riding around calling the phone numbers off of signs, they most likely need help. Again- great way to see neighborhoods and spend time driving around, not a great way to actually find a property.
Ask your friend and co-workers if they know of anything for sale. This tactic is dependent on the size of the circle of friends and family AND depends on the accuracy of their information. I’m not saying they are going to intentionally mislead you. I’m saying they might repeat bad info they were given. The general public is not held to the same legal standard for accurate information as a licensed Realtor and rarely does someone have all the details based on something they heard about through the grapevine. This option can be successful but it has significant limitations.
This one is similar to asking your friends and family. It has the same limitations of the size of your network and the accuracy of their data. It also puts a bullseye on you and your family for agents who monitor social media for folks who ask about buying or selling. I’m one of those agents. I can promise you the majority of your replies and messages will be from agents, not from someone with something to sell.
Search online. This is how the vast majority of folks start their search. There are commercial websites (Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin, etc) that have very user-friendly search features. The reason those features are so friendly is that they are selling your data to the highest bidder. Almost every commercial website out there is designed to capture your email, phone number and what properties you like so that they can sell that to agents who then call, text and email you. Please note- when you create a username and it requires an email and your name, they already have enough to sell. If you use your Facebook or Google account to log in, those companies then share your contact information. The whole concept is built on big data and deception with really pretty websites. Also, these websites are inaccurate. They leave up properties that are under contract or sold and leave incorrect information up on listings because they are interested in gathering info and clicks, not giving you accurate information. If you are just browsing, these websites are a great place to look at real estate. If you’re serious about searching and finding a property, use serious tools like the MLS Collaboration Center.
I’m happy to help you no matter where you are in the process. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can assist you with a customized real estate search. I’d love to help!