Most of us take a peek at homes for sale online, even if when we’re not in the market for a home. We poke around on a few websites just to see what homes are on the market. We look in our neighborhood and get an idea of what our home might be worth. Perhaps we search for that desired neighborhood, where we always wanted to live. Or maybe we even search for the dream home in a different city or state. Harmless, right? Maybe. I mean we’re just looking. “Window shopping” you might say.
Unless you put in your contact info to receive more info on a property. WARNING, WARNING, ALERT, ALERT! The moment you have entered your name, email, phone and clicked the red button “contact agent” you have now opened the floodgates!
3 Things to Avoid When Looking at Homes for Sale Online
When you use sites such as Realtor.com, Zillow, etc. to look for a home online, you should know how they work before you enter your information.
1. Contact form: This is a marketing platform for many Realtors and lenders. They pay for this space on the website. And many times, not just one Realtor/lender, but multiple.
2. Contact Agent: 99% of the time this is NOT the listing agent. Again, it will be the agents and/or lenders who have purchased the desired area (zip code) that this home fell under.
3. Communication: Phone, texts, and email will come to you non stop until you say “STOP”.
Now, just imagine, if you put in an inquiry on one website, then on another and perhaps one more website. Well, you are looking at potentially up to 12 different Realtors and/or lenders looking to connect with you. Trying to find out what you're looking for, see if you are working with a Realtor/lender already, then asking to put you on a home search, etc.
The “fine” print, just below the big red button “contact agent” states, “By clicking “contact agent”, you consent to receive texts and calls (including by automated means and prerecorded/artificial voices) from Realtor.com and real estate professionals about your request. Your consent is not required as a condition to buy. More…
What??!! I mean maybe you did read it, but like most of us, we tend to overlook the font that requires a magnifying glass to read.
It is critical to align yourself with a reputable real estate company, such as West + Main Homes, before pressing ANY buttons on a home search website!! I can’t emphasize this enough. If you are working with a Realtor and they didn’t clarify that they will do the home searching for you and send you homes based off your needs and criteria, then you may want to realign with another agent.
The key to these searches is at any point in your search, if you are curious about a property, you need to reach out to your Realtor. Nothing stops you from looking on these sites, you can even send a property to your Realtor asking them to check into it. But be aware that many times these sites don’t show real-time stats. Which means that many of the homes you are looking at and interested in, may already be under contract.
Only a Realtor will have the updated information, as they will see this on the MLS. The MLS is the search engine Realtors use when searching for homes for sale online. Which if they put you on a search, they will see homes listed at the live time and many times even before they hit all the popular websites.
Speak with a Realtor and Lender
Align yourself with a Realtor and leave the searching up to them. If you find a property online, DON’T click the button to contact agent or find out more. Just let your Realtor know and if you don’t have one, give the agents at West + Main Homes a call.
*P.S. DON’T go looking at any houses and scheduling a showing on a home until your pre-approved with a lender!!! This is critical! As a local lender, we are not saying to NOT look online for a lender or Realtor, we are just saying you need to be mindful of the forms you complete. You need to be aware of when you are reaching out for “more info” on these types of websites. This includes lender websites such as (Bankrate, Lending tree, etc.).
We do encourage you do your research on the lenders and Realtors you choose to reach out. We have over 130 5-star reviews (Google & Yelp), and West + Main Homes has many 5-star reviews as well. This is something to look for in your search process, not just any Realtor or lender calling you to get your business. You should be calling them. Aligning yourself with a strong lender and Realtor puts you in a better position when you start making offers on a property.
Please call the Mortgage Maestro Group, at 303-779-0591, if you would like to get pre-approved or have any questions. Ray Williams, NMLS #216267, Branch Manager.