If you are in the market for a new home, searching for homes for sale online can be an arduous task. There are literally hundreds of websites that provide listings online to search through. But which ones should you be using? There are local NOLA real estate broker websites as well as the national real estate search sites such as Trulia and Realtor.com. Which one has all of the listings? Which one is the easiest to use?
National Real Estate Websites
One of the challenges with the national real estate websites like Zillow and Trulia is they don’t have all of the available properties for sale on their website. You would think that these huge, publicly traded websites would have everything available for sale, but you will find out pretty quick that they do not. Real Estate practitioners have been complaining about that for years! Your best bet in searching for homes for sale in NOLA is using a local real estate website that has direct access to the local Multiple Listing Service.
Local Real Estate Websites
Most local real estate websites have direct access to the Multiple Listing Service. The statewide MLS is the database for local real estate listings which almost every local real estate broker uses. Local real estate brokers access the MLS to search for homes for sale for their clients as well as look up sold properties so they can do valuations on other homes.
When a REALTOR values a particular property, they use “comps” which are similar sold properties. The MLS, as the database for sold and active listings, are what local real estate brokers use to find those sold comparable sales. Real estate appraisers use the exact same database.
This goes to show that when looking for a real estate database that contains all of the properties, the MLS is the gold standard. Whether you are looking to buy on the Northshore in a rural area such as Abita Springs or searching for a luxury property in the French Quarter, the local real estate sites will have ALL of the listings.
Local real estate websites use the MLS as the database for properties, so you are guaranteed to see all of the listings by all real estate brokers. If you are looking for a home to rent, many of the national real estate websites have very few rentals, compared to what is truly available. If you want to see all of the available units for rent, you will want to search a local property management website, since they will show everything.
Customization of Your Real Estate Search
Another thing to consider when searching online for homes for sale in NOLA is your local real estate website will have customized search options. The national websites such as HOMES.com, have the same search for properties all over the United States. So if you are searching in NOLA, you have no need to fumble through search options such as basement or other search options that simply do not apply.
Using a local real estate website to search NOLA homes you will find that the search function on the website makes much more sense. Meaning, you will see search options that are relevant to you using terms you are familiar with. For instance, in NOLA, you may be looking for a camelback style of home. These types of properties are unique to NOLA, so you wont see that as a search criteria on any nationwide website.
Saving Your Real Estate Search
Another positive for using a New Orleans based website to search for finding real estate in NOLA is that you can save your searches. Although just about every real estate website lets you save your search and get notifications, the local real estate website will have you connected to a local REALTOR. The national portals, if you give them your contact information, will simply sell your name and e-mail address to the highest bidder.
This may or may not be an agent that you would like to use for your next real estate transaction. Using a local website lets you learn about the specifics of the agent, know their specialties, the areas they work and so on. When you request information on a national website, you simply get the next REALTOR who is “up”.
Keep It Local
Buying local has been a movement for many years now. With the power of the internet and online sales and search engine optimization it is important to do business the local retailers and business people. At the end of the day, even if you use a major real estate website to search for properties, when you request additional information, they are going to refer to to a local agent.
Why not take advantage of the superior real estate database and customized search available on local real estate websites? You are going to end up using one of those REALTORS anyway, may as well start there.