Too Much Information

Wow, there is a lot of information available to the consumer these days. All sorts of search engines to help you find your dream home, determine how much your home is worth, send out automatic updates, etc. Talk about information overload! I guess the hardest part is to figure out which system to trust. Say what Rich? Which system to trust? Oh yes, I say.

In the technology world, we search for ways to deliver clean information to the consumer. Clean information in real estate means current and standardized ways of reporting. Not spam that is intended to separate you from your money and/or be sold to those in the real estate industry.

So Rich, how do we find this clean information? Great question. Many of the MLS’s have their own website that has the most current information. Here in the Treasure Valley it is http://www.intermountainmls.com/listings/searchlistings.aspx

If I was looking for a home in another area I would begin with Realtor.com. They have requirements that the local MLS’s must adhere to. Generally clean information with advertising thrown in.  As my search intensified, I would find a local Realtor and see what websites they would recommend. Many people use Zillow. The information there can be good, however, Zillow allows consumers to put their own listings in there, such as for sale by owner. What’s wrong with that Rich? Well my friends, all that glitters is not gold. There are actually people out there who post false information trying to get your information and your money. Well imagine that. Craigslist, you ask? One rental scheme would actually advertise, “Don’t tell the Realtor,” suggesting the complicity will get you a better deal. Oh my. That’s not to say all is bad. Just be cautious.

Automatic updates, I love them. I use them to review homes for my clients before sending them on. However, they are only as good as the search parameters used to set them up. Some search engines send what they think is close to what you are looking for. You sign up by yourself and then you get the new listings as soon as they hit the market. At times, this can be overwhelming and supply TMI. Other times, very few homes are found due to the number of “must haves” that have been entered.

So what’s a consumer to do, Rich? Find a reputable website, double check the information with a Realtor and make informed decisions, not overloaded decisions. All the Best, Richie Rich

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