If you are using websites like Zillow or Realtor.com to find homes, you may be wasting valuable time. As a local Realtor in Naples and Marco Island, Florida I work with many clients that have sent me listing from these sites. Many times the information that is provided does not answer all the same questions a professional real estate agent can answer. Some of the main issues include lack of information about homeowners association dues, condo fees and rules and regulations that may make you exclude the home from your search immediately.
I’ve had clients see a home that looks like a great value contact me to investigate and once I pull up the property in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) I find important and confidential information not provided on these third party sites. The confidential information provided by the listing agent is available only to other real estate professionals. In addition, real estate agents can get copies of the official Rules and Regulations for the community. These Rules and Regs will let you know if you can have a pet in the house, commercial vehicle in the driveway, motorcycles, paint colors for the home and much much more!
I recommend that all buyers utilize a buyer’s agent to help them in their search and provide a MLS property portal to their email and cell phone. This will give the buyer more information about the financials and homeowners fees. In addition, it makes it possible for their real estate agent to see the properties they like in real-time so they can follow up with information that agents can download from the MLS such as Rules and Regulations, floor plans, sellers disclosures and more.