One of the first things people do when beginning their real estate search is browsing one of a few popular websites or apps such as Zillow or Trulia; however, despite the marketing power behind these sites, they don’t offer as large of a property database as While Zillow, which owns Trulia, does a good job offering information about neighborhoods, past sale prices and tax information, potential buyers are not seeing all available housing inventory.

Zillow’s shortfalls

Zillow’s interface is fairly simple to navigate, but potential buyers should be cautious of listings categorized as “Make Me Move” or “For Sale by Owner” as these sellers usually want to manage the transaction themselves without getting a real estate agent involved. Buyers wishing to use their realtor for these listings could find themselves being told they’ll pay a higher price to offset the realtor’s professional fees, or ask the buyer to pay all fees. Zillow also doesn’t update changes to its inventory instantly, which means a home could be sold or pending, but its not shown as such on the site. There are instances where a brokerage as a whole, or maybe an individual agent chooses not to let their listings be syndicated to Zillow, so a buyer may not see all available properties. Additionally, foreclosed homes could show as available, when in fact they’re months from being on the market.

What MIBOR offers

Properties listed on MIBOR’s website all have an MLS number and are using a real estate agent as part of the transaction, which offers each side of the transaction a level of security and professionalism for obtaining the best outcome. By searching properties with an active MLS, a potential buyer is seeing all available homes in their market, except some of those for sale by owner.

Agent-generated searches

When a buyer and realtor set criteria for the desired type of property, the agent can generate an online search that pulls from MLS properties, including those that have only been on the market for a few minutes. These searches show listings currently available and not anything under contract. Licensed relators also can receive notifications the second a home is added to the database, which can give a buyer a head start for a showing.

When the time comes to begin a home search its easy to be drawn toward mega sites and apps such as Zillow and Trulia, but to find the most accurate information and larger database consider asking a realtor for a search or use MIBOR’s app and website. Real estate agents have their client’s best interests in mind and these searches offer the best results as well as the support of trusted, licensed agents.