Real Estate Buyers: “INFORMATION PLEASE”

How is it that some real estate agents (including Realtors), those individuals who claim to be tireless public servants with only your safety and best interests at heart, can be so unconcerned with the desires and wishes of their customers?

It seems like the only reason some agents put what little information online they do is so they can get the contact information from visitors to their site, by hiding it behind registration forms. And in some cases sprouting up, even hiding it behind costs - such as this MLS (Multiple Listing Service) in the Northeast. (note: this link will only work while the listing is active. If you get a listing not found page, just go to the Property Finder link and search for a property to see an example).

Buyers want information. They want information about your house, and they want to be able to find it easily. Realtor.com and most agents are not delivering, so buyers are turning to different sources where they CAN get lots of information. One of the biggest reasons buyers and sellers are attracted to the For Sale By Owner option, right behind cost savings, is that For Sale By Owner real estate sites are doing a much better job of making the most information about a property easily accessible to buyers, for free and without registration forms.

If you re a home seller, you want to get information about your home in front of as many potential buyers as you can. And agents aren t delivering. A content survey showed that an average of 30% more property information was available from For Sale By Owner sites than from real estate agent sites. Fewer and fewer buyers are looking where only limited information is hidden behind registration forms and fees.

The more information buyers get, the happier they are. And the less they have to give in return, the even happier they are. That is confirmed by this newspaper s online poll concerning the previously mentioned Northeast region MLS, which found that 92% of people say they should not have to pay for access to property data.

For getting loads of information to buyers, sites like FSBOzone.com and ForSaleByOwner.com are unsurpassed, even by real estate agents.

Why do most agents hide the property information about their listings? Because they think they own it.

Real Estate Buyers: INFORMATION PLEASE

was inevitable. For those not relocated due to Katrina, life still had to go on, and new controversial issues had to take over the front page headlines. I, for one, am glad not to be the first one to do so, but now that it s been done we ll follow.

Thursday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit against the National Association of Realtors (NAR), challenging a policy that harms consumers by keeping information out of their hands, and out of the hands of innovative people and companies. In other words, it s about MLS data.

The real issue here is who owns information about your house, as a home owner seller. Realtors, and even some FSBO advertising companies, think they do. That s why in some cases they ve started charging consumers for the ability to search it.

This gets into a whole issue of freeflow of information and what consumers want. Because of that, rather than make a massive post, I want to cover this over a couple of posts I ve been preparing for a while.