As a member of the National Association of Realtor and Charleston Trident Association of Realtors I feel it is my duty to fully inform the public and prospective clients about the truth of online property search tools. Not that there is anything deceitful, but because I feel us as agents need to set the record straight.
If you haven’t noticed every real estate agent and real estate company now-a-days has a “free” home search, Search Homes Here, or “Search homes for Sale” tool built into their website. That is primarily so that their prospective buyers and sellers do not navigate off their site to search homes elsewhere.
I am a real estate agent in Charleston South Carolina and I too have one of these online Charleston South Carolina homes- for sale search tool buttons for my customers / prospects. We have all seen them; if you have purchased a home or are considering buying a home in the last 7 years or so you have more than likely used one of these.
But; what are they really? What’s the deal behind them and who has the best one to use? Who has the best and easiest online property / home search tool? Truth is they are all mostly the same. It is all the same information and no one company has more info then the other, and the reason is because the real estate boards insure that every agency has a level playing field. The biggest difference is that they are all dressed up to look different, however they are all providing the user with the same information everyone else has.
The multiple listing service or MLS at least here in Charleston (I believe everywhere in the U.S.) provides (for a small monthly fee) website code that real estate companies and/or Realtors can embed into their websites so that you as a customer can search homes or property at your leisure- including myself. If you click HERE you will see that you can search Charleston area real estate and Charleston homes for sale.
You are probably asking yourself how does the local / county / city MLS home search tools compare to Zillow or Trulia? Good question. From my understanding these companies use the MLS same information as real estate companies, but they also subscribe to a technical feed from city and county records, and compile and collect information from each local government office into their websites that include past and recent sales.
Their information is exactly the same as agents and realtors have, but they unlike most local real estate companies have more capital to invest into more web development and design to construct their tool to be able to process more information, faster.
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