Often we have many buyers we are working with who send us links to properties they’ve found on sites like Trulia and Zillow. No offense to these sites, they are great for some things, but doing current real estate research is not one of them. The sad truth is Trulia and Zillow infrequently update listings, so often the ones buyers have sent to us end up being already under contract or worse yet, sold 2 years ago, and our poor buyers are disappointed! Another little known fact is that Zillow’s “Zestimate” that tells Sellers what their home is currently worth is highly inaccurate. In fact, they even publish the inaccuracy rating on their site! So what then are the best websites to search for homes that are currently available and not under contract? Here’s a rundown.
1. LianeJamason.com: OK shameless plug here, but seriously! I spend a lot of time and money to make sure that my website is the go-to place for my buyers and sellers to find the information and listings they are looking for. Our website is updated nightly with listings directly from the Tampa Bay Multiple Listing Service so you can always be confident that if you’ve spotted your dream home, it’s active and available if its on my website! We also have lists of luxury homes, foreclosure homes, short sales – everything under the sun! In addition, I also blog the most recent local Hillsborough and Pinellas County real estate statistics, so you’ll always be in the know.
2. ListingBook: You can click this link to sign up for a free ListingBook account. My techie-er Buyer clients love ListingBook because it gives them the ability to create their own home searches, save their favorite listings, modify their criteria at any time, and even send me little notes with questions about particular properties. Also Buyers and Sellers can set up searches of pending and sold listings in a given neighborhood or city so you can be current on what homes are really selling for in a certain area – no more relying on that inaccurate Zestimate when pricing your home!
3. Realtor.com: Realtor.com relies on feeds directly from local Multiple Listing Services so the listings here are pretty up to date within 24 hours. You also have the ability to save and search for listings here as well, if you don’t mind all the banner ads. Also on Realtor.com, if you go to the Advanced Search section, you can search homes recently sold in your neighborhood. This is also a good place to look if you need a Rental home – whatever you do, stay off Craigslist, there are a ton of rental scams on there!
4. City-Data.com: Want info about neighborhood demographics, crime rates and more? This is the place to do that kind of research – however keep in mind its based on census data and how many people actually returned their Census? (Umm, I may have forgotten to, shhh!)
5. Florida Department of Education: Have school aged children and need to find out what areas have the best school systems? You can find a list of all the Florida School Grades here.
Still can’t find some piece of data you are looking for? You can always feel free to email me and I’ll see what I can do for you!