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May 25, 2012

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

by terresteinbeck RODEO REALTY

I got another one of those calls the other day. Happens all the time. It’s the kind that starts off full of promise – somebody saw an amazing Beverly Hills home. And now they want yours truly to help them snag it from the marketplace. So I put the real estate gears in motion. And lo and behold, I discover said home sold over six months ago!

Why did this important piece of info escape the notice of these well-intentioned people? Simple. They, like many other home shoppers, discovered this Beverly Hills home on one of the trendy new sites devoted to real estate listings. Zillow, Trulia, and Real Estate Blocker spring immediately to mind. There are hundreds more out there.

Now don’t get me wrong. These online destinations often are wonderful resources. They provide  a wealth of useful information covering everything from mortgage calculation to ‘walk scores’ to local realtors. BUT — these sites aren’t required to divulge as much information as the more reliable Multiple Listing Service. Case in point: the MLS must clearly indicate that a home has been sold within three days of closing. Any realtor who fails to update a sold listing within the required period gets slapped with a fine that’s higher than the moon.

Another tidbit these sites might omit is whether or not a house is bank-owned, a short sale, or traditional sale. Each of these scenarios typically requires a different amount of time to close. If a buyer doesn’t know which one they’re jumping into, they could be in for an unexpectedly long and bumpy ride.

So use these sites as a starting point. Relying on them for anything more is going upstream without a paddle. The only way you’ll get the full scoop on a Beverly Hills home for sale is by consulting a real estate professional. Unless you prefer unwanted surprises and numerous additions to your yearly headache count.

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