I just read a post on ActiveRain that had over 70 comments when I wrote mine. A recent buyer had requested that an agent remove all listing information on the Internet relative to the property that was bought. This raised a few ideas, issues, and concerns.
The part that I like is the confusion this causes. Why? Because it means that people need to talk to me again to make sure what they are looking at is actually for sale. Many of the "most visited" sites only use listings to get traffic so their ads will be clicked - they don't actually sell any real estate. Active, full-time agents have the most accurate and trustworthy information - on their own web sites and in their own head.
There are more and more stories of buyers approaching a property owner or an agent / broker only to find the property is not for sale. Some renters have even been misled into thinking that a property is for rent. There are many accounts of deposits being made to an online advertiser for property that was not for rent.
People are learning that when you see it on a web site that is not operated by the listing company, you need to talk to a professional to verify the information. This is good for our profession. It is causing a return to communication with the professionals who actually know the local market.
A misconception of non-real estate professionals is the idea that the listing agent controls where the listing is placed. In fact, if an agent logs in and places a listing on a site, they can control it. But, if the source of the data is not from the agent, the data usually cannot be removed by a mere agent. Unfortunately, some web sites glean pictures and information by agreement and others gather the "free" information and use it in what ever way they choose.
Sellers who want their listing "in as many places as possible" are driving the misinformation. More exposure is "better" has been the idea that has driven the Internet proliferation. However, experienced professionals have always known that targeted marketing is best. Maybe the tail can be kept from wagging the dog so much as the confusion continues to grow.
Another issue of concern is of course privacy. If the inside of your house is easy to view, it becomes easier to plan an intrusion. The new owner won't have the same furnishings or decorations, but the layout will be the same.
So, with all the data all over the Internet, I foresee a return to actually speaking to real estate professionals for gaining truthful, useful, and expeditious information!
(Here's a link to the blog I read: http://activerain.com/blogsview/1686700/please-remove-my-home-from-the-internet )
Happy listing, selling, and buying!
Heath Coker, Associate Broker
Robert Paul Properties
www.CapeGroup.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
508-274-5613 Licensed in MA
Its a beautiful day on Cape Cod!
@CapeGroup Skype: heath.coker