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Real Estate FAQ

Questions and Answers:

Real estate companies come in all shapes and sizes. Because the task of searching, comparing and choosing a real estate company or agent can seem overwhelming, we at InfoFAQ have found answers to some of the toughest questions about real estate. From residential to commercial property, below are some important frequently asked questions to help you decide on the best real estate professional.

Frequently Asked Questions About Real Estate Online

Are the real estate listings online as good as the Multiple Listing Service that realtors use?

Online real estate listings will vary in their source of listings and in the content they provide for free. In some online real estate listings, you may be shown some of the listings but not all of them, unless you join the service as a member, and then you can see all of the listings. Other sites are free and show just what is in the local MLS for the area you are searching in. Other real estate sites will let sellers create their own listings, which may not be available anywhere else.

Are the listings shown online currently available?

In most cases the real estate listed online will be currently on the market. But the web site may also show real estate that has already been sold. This is due to the lag time it takes to update web sites. Some real estate agents may also keep old listings posted even if sold just to get you to call them. If the offer is too good or too cheap, odds are that it has already been sold and is just there to bait you into calling them.

Why is it important to use a real estate search site that gets its information from the MLS Multiple Listing Services?

The MLS is the master list that realtors use to find newly listed and available property. It is the most accurate and complete list of available real estate. Many online real estate web sites do not get their information from the most current MLS database, so in some cases you are better off contacting a real estate agent who can look at this list every day for you. If you find a web site that is updated regularly from the MLS, this is a good place to look too.

If I find a home that I like online, how do I arrange to see it?

Most online real estate web sites will either charge you to become a member and then provide you the phone number of the listing agent. Others will be part of a regular real estate brokerage in the local area, and will refer you to a live agent for help in looking at the property. Some web sites may try and refer you to a local real estate agent and then ask the agent for a referral fee.

How do online real estate searches work?

Once you find a good real estate web site that you like, you can search for property or homes. You will be asked a series of questions such as the cities and countries you are interested in, the price range, type of property, number of bedrooms, desired features, and other information. The search engine will then show you the listings that closely match your criteria.

Consumer Safety and Information

Real Estate Brokers - www.mass.gov

Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons.

Department of Real Estate - www.dre.ca.gov

This page is the homepage of the California Department of Real Estate.

Mortgages/Real Estate - www.ftc.gov

Tips to homeowners on how to avoid scammers.

FDIC Law - www.fdic.gov

Real Estate settlement procedures.

Consumer Affairs - hawaii.gov

Provides real estate licensing, and condominium project registration.

Visit our Credit Card Fraud section for useful information.


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