When it comes to searching for real estate data, why are there so many options? It seems like every week, we hear about a new app or a new website that does the same thing, just a little bit better, and as a prospective home buyer or seller, you should certainly use all information made available. However, which ones are worth the MOST of your time? Instead of listing the best applications, here is a list of criteria one should consider when sourcing their real estate data.
- Is the source free or paid? Good data needs to be constantly maintained and curated by someone likely being paid. Programs that attempt to behave on autopilot with no human oversight, often see their service deteriorate from lack of maintenance over time.
- What’s the motivation of the program? Is the program developed by a real estate company interested in real estate transactions? Or an advertising company simply looking to build large collections of data to in-turn sell to other buyers?
- How does the program get their data? Probably the most important question to ask yourself. As the old adage goes; garbage in, garbage out! If a sleek new program looks official, but gets their information from unofficial sources, you’re only wasting your time getting excited over your future dream home that actually sold 2 weeks ago.
Exceptions exists, sure, but these are good guidelines to abide by. Personally, we use paid services like Realtor Property Resources powered by the National Association of REALTORS®, but other great options exist. Find a Realtor who has paid access to your local MLS and get the info from them. It’s free to you, and a great way to ensure what you’re looking at is current and extensive.
The Schrader Group