A decade ago, a seek out real estate could have started at work of a local real estate agent or by simply driving around town. At the agent’s office, you would spend a day flipping through pages of active property listings from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). After choosing properties of interest, you would spend many weeks touring each property until you found the right one. Finding market data to enable you to assess the selling price would take additional time and far more driving, and you still might not have the ability to find most of the information you needed to get really comfortable with a fair market value.
Today, most property searches start the Internet. A fast keyword search on Google by location will probably get you tens and thousands of results. If you spot a property of interest on a real estate site, you can typically view photos online and maybe even have a virtual tour. You can then check other The websites, such as the local county assessor, to get an idea of the property’s value, see what the current owner paid for the property, check the real estate taxes, get census data, school information, estate agents Tarporley and even take a look at what shops are within walking distance-all without leaving your home!
As the resources on the Internet are convenient and helpful, using them properly can be quite a challenge because of the volume of information and the difficulty in verifying its accuracy. During the time of writing, a search of “Denver real estate ” returned 2,670,000 Web sites. Even a neighborhood specific seek out real estate can quickly return tens and thousands of Web 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 helps it be easier to understand online real estate information and strategies.
The Business of Real Estate
Real estate is usually bought and sold either through a licensed real estate agent or directly by the owner. The great majority is bought and sold through real estate brokers. (We use “agent” and “broker” to make reference to the exact same professional.) That is due to their real estate knowledge and experience and, at least historically, their exclusive use of a database of active properties for sale. Access to this database of property listings provided the absolute most efficient way to find properties.
The MLS (and CIE)
The database of residential, land, and smaller income producing properties (including some commercial properties) is commonly known as a multiple listing service (MLS). Typically, only properties listed by member real estate agents can be included with an MLS. The principal purpose of an MLS is to enable the member real estate agents to produce offers of compensation to other member agents should they find a customer for a property.
This purposes didn’t include enabling the direct publishing of the MLS information to the general public; times change. Today, most MLS information is directly accessible to the general public on the Internet in numerous forms.
Commercial property listings may also be displayed online but aggregated commercial property information is more elusive. Larger MLSs often operate a professional information exchange (CIE). A CIE is comparable to an MLS nevertheless the agents adding the listings to the database are not required to provide any specific kind of compensation to one other members. Compensation is negotiated away from CIE.