10 years ago, a seek out real estate would have started at the office of a nearby real estate agent or just by driving around town. At the agent’s office, you’d spend an afternoon flipping through pages of active property listings from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). After choosing properties of interest, you’d spend many weeks touring each property until you found the proper one. Finding market data allow one to measure the asking price would take more time and a lot more driving, and you still might not have the ability to find most of the information you needed to get really more comfortable with a fair market value.
Today, most property searches start on the Internet. An instant keyword search on Google by location will likely enable you to get thousands of results. If you spot a house of interest on a real estate internet site, you can typically view photos online and possibly even have a virtual tour. You can then check other Web sites, such as the local county assessor, to get a concept of the property’s value, see what the existing owner taken care of the property, check the real estate taxes, get census data, school information, Tarporley estate agents and even check out what shops are within walking distance-all without leaving your property!
While 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 very quickly return thousands of Web sites. With so many resources online so how exactly does an investor effectively use 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 causes it to be easier to know 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 vast majority is bought and sold through real estate brokers. (We use “agent” and “broker” to make reference to the exact same professional.) This is because of the real estate knowledge and experience and, at the least historically, their exclusive use 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 commonly referred to as a multiple listing service (MLS). Generally, only properties listed by member real estate agents can be put into an MLS. The principal purpose of an MLS is allow the member real estate agents to create offers of compensation to other member agents if they find a consumer for a property.
This purposes didn’t include enabling the direct publishing of the MLS information to people; times change. Today, most MLS information is directly accessible to people over the Internet in a variety of forms.
Commercial property listings will 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 however the agents adding the listings to the database are not required to provide any specific form of compensation to another members. Compensation is negotiated outside the CIE.