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Real Estate Listings

So you’re interested in buying or selling your piece of real estate.  In order to do this you’re going to have to find available properties for sale (for buyers) or make your property known that its for sale (for sellers).  This is where real estate listing resources come into play. 

For the Buyer

If you know the rough location of where you want to buy real estate, it is important to study that local real estate market before you seriously start to look at houses.  Some real estate listings can be found at: 

Real Estate Catalogue in the Area – in many cases, these are usually free resources and updated on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis.                      

Real Estate Classifieds in Newspaper – another popular resource for real estate listings.  In many cases, the same listings will be featured in Multiple Listing Resources, but this is where you may find some For Sale By Owner (FSBO) gems.   

- Browse Listings on Internet – this has become the most preferred method by people to view real estate listings.  In this age of advanced technology, many people have access to the internet, and now most companies have put out all their information on-line to make it more accessible to the masses.  The real estate industry has been revolutionized because of the internet!  Even real estate listings in real estate catalogues and newspaper classifieds should be accessible on-line.  There is a multitude of real estate companies out there, and each of them typically has their own set of real estate listings, which will undoubtedly keep you busy.  A classic site is www.everythingre.com.                                                                          

- Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – this is the standard industry listing standard.  The MLS is created and operated by real estate professionals.  In recent years, the MLS has become readily available to the public on-line through websites like www.MLS.com and www.Realtor.com.  The MLS was designed to organize all real estate property listings into a search engines that would correspond to a county, state or province, or particular neighborhood area.  A prospective buyer can then search out specific types of properties within specific price ranges, in specific areas that they’re interested.  The MLS may also contain more information about that particular property.  

- Bank Owned Real Estate – Although the majority of people will buy property from the MLS, many astute people will look at real estate available through a bank or loan company, which is either in the foreclosure state or is real estate owned (REO).  A property becomes an REO when it the property failed to sell during the foreclosure state.  In most situations a bank will be looking for a quick sale, and as such will offer many incentives and benefits to prospective buyers.


For The Seller

Looking at homes for sale is a quick way to become educated about current price trends for different types of properties, so it's important to study your local real estate market before you seriously list and advertise your property. 

The process of selling real estate can be an arduous and time-consuming task, which is why many people chose to hire an agent to do this.  Finding the right real estate agent is a process in itself, and will be further discussed in “Finding a Real Estate Agent”.  But once you have settled on one, you will usually work together under the terms of what is know as listing agreement: a legally binding contract that sets out the terms and conditions of the seller and realtors role in selling a house. 

Every listing agreement varies from location to location, but most real estate agents will use a set pattern that is totally negotiable.  When negotiating a listing agreement one important thing to consider is the term of the agreement; the time span of the contract.  A long term can favor an agent in a depressed market, but in a good market it may not be so wise.  Commission is also an important consideration to look into when negotiating the listing agreement, with the average commission being 5-7% of the sale price.

You real estate agent will use all their resources to get your house listed.  Obviously, the house will be included in the MLS database, but a good agent will go beyond that.  These days, agents must advertise in all possible avenues in order to compete effectively.  They will utilize the internet, television, and print media, not to mention that simple “For Sale” sign on the front lawn.