Ten years ago, a seek out real estate would have started in the office of a local real estate agent or by just driving around town. At the agent’s office, you’ll spend a day flipping through pages of active property listings from the neighborhood Multiple Listing Service (MLS). After choosing properties of interest, you’ll spend many weeks touring each property and soon you found the right one. Finding market data to enable you to Custom Market Reports assess the asking price would take more time and a lot more driving, and 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 on the Internet. An instant keyword search on Google by location will probably get you a large number of results. If you spot a house of interest on a genuine estate web site, you can typically view photos online and maybe even take a virtual tour. You can then check other Web sites, including the local county assessor, to get a concept of the property’s value, see what the current owner paid for the property, check the real estate taxes, get census data, school information, and also check out what shops are within walking distance-all without leaving your house!
While the resources on the Internet are convenient and helpful, using them properly could be a challenge because of the volume of information and the difficulty in verifying its accuracy. At the time of writing, a search of “Denver property” returned 2,670,000 Sites. Even a neighborhood specific search for real estate can simply return thousands of Sites. With so many resources online so how exactly 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 enterprise of real estate works offline makes it simpler to understand online property information and strategies.
The Business of Real Estate
Real estate is normally bought and sold either by way of a licensed real estate 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 real estate knowledge and experience and, at least historically, their exclusive usage of a database of active properties for sale. 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 mls (MLS). Typically, only properties listed by member real estate agents can be added to an MLS. The primary reason for an MLS is to enable the member realtors to create offers of compensation to other member agents should 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 may also be displayed online but aggregated commercial property information is more elusive. Larger MLSs often operate a commercial information exchange (CIE). A CIE is similar to an MLS but the agents adding the listings to the database aren’t necessary to offer any specific type of compensation to another members. Compensation is negotiated beyond your CIE.