For most home buyers the first steps towards ownership begins with an online search. Typically that means utilizing a national real estate syndication Web site such as Zillow or Trulia to find listings and view homes for sale.
But buyers can be at a disadvantage when it comes to the accuracy and timeliness of the listings served up by Trulia and Zillow along with a host of similar sites. Real estate syndication Web sites have no IDX capabilities (Internet Data Exchange), which enable buyers to conduct online searches of approved MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listings in selected areas. IDX sites are provided only by licensed real estate brokerages and their agents.
As real estate investors and first-time buyers know all too well, real estate syndication sites are slow to update their listings as compared to IDX sites, where a newly MLS listed property can appear in as little as 15 minutes. That same listing can take days to populate to the nationally syndicated sites. By the time a first-home buyer or motivated real estate investor views the property and submits an offer, there could be multiple competitive bids or the property may have gone under contract.
For that reason first-time home buyers and real estate investors are turning to local IDX Web sites to get a leg up on the competition. Several more reasons to consider IDX over syndicated listing sites:
-Local broker sponsored IDX sites display all agent-listed homes for sale versus about 80 percent for the national syndication sites.
-Local broker IDX sites show newly listed homes for sale quicker than the syndication portals. My own IDX site is updated several time a day.
-Local broker IDX sites almost never show a home listing as active that has already sold; about a third of listings that appear as active on national syndication sites are no longer for sale.
To be fair, the syndication sites are stepping up their game. But an IDX site will enable you to gain access to MLS listings and search homes much the same as an agent.