In this day and age, folks have numerous Real Estate resources right in palm of their hand. Of course, I’m referring to their smart phones. Long gone are the days of REALTORS® receiving the periodic publication sent to their company’s office which provided the current listings. For that matter, long gone are the days of having to run to another REALTOR®’s office to get a key, in order to enter a property for sale. These days, there are wildly popular Apps, who have the rights to share our listings publicly. This helps buyers to see what’s hot, almost instantly, but there’s a flip side to relying on these resources.
Here’s a scenario.
A REALTOR® who’s representing a seller, inputs the listing information into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is a system to which, only REALTORS® and few others in the industry have access. When these national Apps share our listings, it can be a good thing at first. It makes marketing properties easier, but…it can become more complicated after this point.
For example, there is one App in particular, who often does NOT UPDATE our listings. Therefore, a buyer might see “123 Main Street” for sale and become excited. After their REALTOR® checks in the MLS for more information, they then may have to tell the buyer, “Oh, I’m sorry, that one’s under contract already.” or “That one sold 6 months ago.” You might be surprised just how often this occurs. The MLS will be updated by the REALTOR®, and some of the Apps will too, but one prominent App, does not. I’ll refrain from naming them in order to remain professional but if you were to ever sit in a REALTORS®’ convention, you may hear collective laughter or negative comments when this company is named.
Anyhow, other advantages of the MLS which these Apps do not have, fall under the category of “Additional Information”. That can range from uploaded “Seller’s Disclosures” or possibly “Plat Maps” or “HOA Documents”. A negative feature of the unnamed, yet aforementioned national company, is their estimate of a home’s value. They might get it right sometimes, but it’s actually a common joke among REALTORS®, that this company often gets it wrong…and sometimes very wrong!
You see, they’re a NATIONAL company and don’t know local markets such as ours. So, they use county assessor information as a starting point. However, if you’ve been a homeowner, you might know that the county doesn’t always have the correct details on your property. They might think you have a 3 bedroom home, but you might have added a bedroom and therefore added square footage. You might have a new roof, a newly remodeled kitchen or replaced your furnace. My point is that it’s easier to get an accurate estimate on newer construction but over the years, a home’s value gets more complicated and even one subdivision to the next, can vary a good deal.
So, here’s my point. You need a good REALTOR® who will do specific research and advise you personally, based upon your situation. Those Apps have their place. They are pretty sites, with SOME good information, but please don’t rely on an automated system.
Eve Leombruno, 2023 MBOR President