To this day I get phone calls on a couple of listings I had five or six years ago in Brighton. This is not intentional bait-and-switch marketing, it usually catches me off guard. On these calls I ask where they learned about the listing. The answer is one of two websites, which I won’t mention.
There are several sites promising listing information, but they are useless. Worse than useless, they’ll suck-up your time. In your Newton, Brookline or Brighton property search, use the following resources.
1. Realtor.com. The Realtor website is a premier stop for everything real estate. It is linked to the Multiple Listing Services so information is current. Once you put in your search criteria, make sure you scroll down past the ads of “featured properties.” They are not part of your search results. The drawback is it’s not local enough so if you want to find some area information and articles, this is not the place.
2. Boston.com. For open house information, and all local real estate information, Boston.com has proven itself. It is one of the most used local real estate sites in the United States. You’ll see the photos and have some community information, videos, maps, etc. Again, scroll down past the ads. Nothing against the ads, but they are not part of your search results.
3. Your agent’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is the best. You’ll receive your updates by email daily, what’s new to market and price reductions. You can log on and have access to all the same information I have, delete the listings you don’t like, write comments, ask questions and request showings. On your agent’s MLS you will see the pictures and also have access to a tour, video, and related documents such as a floor plan.
If you are serious about your search, daily email is critical. You’ll learn about price reductions (my favorite piece of information). You’ll learn about a property now in your price range when it was not previously.
What about the homes that don’t make it into MLS? This is a tiny percent of the market. Most for sale by owners in Brookline and Newton are on the MLS. If you’ve hired a buyer’s agent, he or she should be checking Craig’s list regularly as well.
Even if you are just casually looking at real estate, or starting a serious search, please please please use good sources of information so you are not wasting your time. Listing information is easy to obtain and it is free. Ensure it is from an accurate and reputable source.