There is a reason that I call myself the Neighborhood Listing Broker.That reason is because I know the neighborhood!
If I am working for the Buyer, I may spend several hours combing through listings on the Statewide MLS. Contrary to popular opinion, the Statewide mls is the ONLY up to date service. A buyer can spend hours on the Internet and send me houses that they are considering, but there are always homes that show active on the internet, when in fact they are actually pending. This is especially true for short sales which are considered active until the Bank actually accepts the offer.
When I look at the mls listing, I do a thorough search in the tax records, the history of the listing, ie how many times was it on the market, what did it sell for. Then I switch over to the Government flood map and make sure it is not in a flood zone. If it's in a flood zone then we need to look at houses priced much lower, especially if my buyer is procuring a mortgage, because flood insurance will add into their monthly payment.
By the time I have screened all the homes, there are only a few left that actually meet my buyers criteria. Some buyers think that perhaps they are not seeing all the homes, but they are only getting the ones they might be able to buy.
When working with Sellers, I do the same screening, but now I am screening the comparables and trying to come up with the best price for my Seller. I encourage my sellers in Waterfront and nearby areas to get an Elevation Certificate.
I just spent several hours screening properties. At least 10 of them did not mention flood insurance, but I happen to know that some were in the vicinity of possible areas that were high risk. I was correct on every single one, but because the Listing Realtors did not offer this information, I had to look each one up separately.
If I didn't know Rhode Island, then I would not have realized that there were potential flags that my buyer would not be able to purchase these properties.
I think I have earned the Neighborhood Agent title simply by living in Rhode Island for so many years, and spending hours keeping up on all the latest rules and regulations, and noticing the changes that are always happening.
Some areas that I specialize in are Warwick, Warwick Neck, Highland Beach, Conimicut, Oakland Beach, Hillsgrove, Lakewood, Norwood, Lincoln Park, Gaspee, Pawtuxet Village, Apponaug, Potowomut, East Greenwich and North Kingstown.