Where Should Your Home Search Begin?
Most home buyers start by looking on the internet. National websites like Zillow and Trulia have become very popular because they have a nice interface and some interesting tools. While they are fun to look at, they don’t list all the homes available to buy! Often, they also have homes listed that are not on the market anymore. Realtor.com has most all the homes for sale, but it doesn’t always give as much detail as you’d like on each home.
Zillow’s “Zestimate” price estimate for homes is almost always incorrect! You have to do your own local home price research.
To get both the best selection and the most detail on homes, the best place to search is usually on local real estate company websites or on the local real estate board website because it will have all the local home listings. Ask your Buyer’s Agent how to search for homes for the most accurate and complete local results.
No photos in a listing doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not nice, it could just be new on the market. Drive by the home to see for yourself.
One of my favorite ways is ‘old school’… just drive around your favorite neighborhoods and look for signs. Better yet, get out and walk. Riding a bike is great because you can cover a lot of area and stop and talk to residents easily. Just like people, homes often look much better or much worse in person than they do in pictures!
Often, search sites available to the public don’t give out addresses. Your Buyer’s Agent’s searches will give you addresses.
The most efficient way to get all the homes for sale and the most detail is by having a Buyer’s Agent input your search criteria into the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and then have the listings emailed to you. Most areas have a feature where this can be set up to send you listings automatically as they come on the market so you don’t miss any new listings.
Thinking of buying a home in the Portland, Oregon area? Checkout our First Time Home Buyer Classes!
How to Search for Homes,
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