We talk to many people who are confused and working way too hard to find homes that might be right for them. Specifically, we hear all the time from people who are checking out neighborhoods and houses on portals like Zillow and Trulia, and contacting each agent that appears next to the houses they like.
Wait a minute – what’s wrong with that?
Many buyers assume that the agent they are calling has special knowledge or expertise about that home, and thus would be the best person to talk to about the property. But here’s how it really works…many real estate agents (like us!) pay to advertise on Zillow and Trulia. The three agents displayed next to the property – like us – are advertising to work with buyers – maybe like you! And they may or may not have extra knowledge about the property, besides what all agents can learn from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Every now and then you will see only one agent whose information is displayed. That agent works for the seller, and his first concern is his seller’s interests.
Many buyers do use Zillow to get an idea of what is going on in the market, and learn the price points in different neighborhoods and towns. It is an excellent tool for this!
However, once you decide it is time to do some serious looking, it makes good sense to pick one Realtor you feel confident has the knowledge and experience to help guide you, not only through the home search process, but all the vital steps from making the offer and negotiating the various terms, to getting to the closing table. And you don’t have to keep explaining your situation to an endless number of agents – just to the one you decide to work with. A good Realtor will work hard and do all the legwork for you, starting by customizing a search on the MLS and helping you find the exact properties that might match your needs and budget.
How do you find that Realtor? Zillow can help you do that too. You can search for agents on Zillow, read their profiles and the reviews past clients have written and see how many transactions they have closed in the area you are interested in. (Hint – you want a 5-star agent.) Zillow makes it nearly impossible to pad the reviews. For example, we have a client to whom we have sold four homes, but Zillow will only allow him to post one review. Zillow also doesn’t allow reviews from the agent’s home computers, or family members. So you can be confident that the reviews are real. If you’d like to read our profile and reviews on Zillow, just click this link!
Happy home hunting, and when you are ready to work with professionals who will always be in your corner, call us at 727.286.1249.
P.S. If you purchased a primary home in 2016 and haven’t yet filed for your Homestead Exemption, the deadline is looming! March 1, 2017 is the date you must file by. If you’re not sure what the Homestead Exemption is, call us and we will be glad to help.Google+