Looking for a house?…you may not find it.

You’d think that in 2014 there would be a system to locate every house for sale without too much trouble. Believe it or not, the system for buyers is worse than it was 15 years ago. The landmines for the sellers are even worse.

Buyers face a big challenge
More than 40% of the houses listed on sites like Zillow and Trulia are either sold or not for sale. These sites are advertising sites. The more houses that they put on their site the more they can gather leads for real estate agents who buy leads. Realtor.com is not as bad but you will still find that the hottest homes that are priced right are probably listed as active but many are already under contract. Agents responding to inquiries on houses that are sold are trained to switch you to other homes that are available.

Sellers suffer a worse fate
Real estate companies and agents who are intent on earning a commission on the buyer’s side and the seller’s side are promoting the idea of a “quiet listing”. This is a listing that does not go directly into the local MLS. Instead it goes to a small group of potential buyers or into the listing company’s book of listings. Buyers who are working with other agents and companies only learn about the property after it is sold or after the listing agents exhaust any potential buyers in their own office or company. Anyone who has taken economics in school remembers the rules of the marketplace. In real estate the rule I go by is that if you expose a listing to as many buyers as possible you will get the best terms for the seller. We will never recommend a quiet listing…only a loud one!

The solutions:

If you are a buyer, ask your agent to set up a unique search in the MLS that meets your criteria. Then you will be the first to know about houses that are listed for sale. You will never see houses that are sold or not for sale because the MLS is updated hourly. It’s free, its private and you will only have to work with one salesperson. At Artisan, our agents have hundreds of searches set up for our clients. Our clients contact us only when they see a house that suits them. It’s a win-win relationship.

If you are a seller and a listing salesperson tries to tell you that it is in your best interest to consider a quiet listing…show him the door. Many times the salespeople will make the contract look attractive by discounting their commission 1 or 2%. That 1% or 2% is chickenfeed compared to the value of exposing your home to the buyers looking for a home in your region and across the country. At Artisan Realty we never recommend limiting the scope of your marketing. We work for you.

It’s 2014. There are a lot of traps and tricks in the marketplace. We are here to help!  You can call me at 484-985-5222 or just email me your criteria and I can set up a search for you in the MLS!