Here in Brooklyn, traditionally real estate agents and brokers will continue to market a property even after it goes into contract. This is due to the fact that sometimes a deal can falter after going into contract but before it closes. This can happen for several different reasons such as the purchaser losing their job midway through the deal or the appraisal performed by the bank on the property coming up short of the asking price. Although it is rare, these thing can happen.
Due to that fact, agents continue to market a property even after it goes into contract. It is done as a precautionary measure. Most agents will keep a list of all buyers who made an inquiry into the property and contact those buyer first if there is a problem with the deal.
Being an agent here in Brooklyn for over 20 years, I know how frustrating it is for a buyer when you want to see a home and are told that it is already in contract... but in the end, you have to just accept it for what it is worth and be willing to be a "back-up" just in case. Next time you are told the property is in contract, tell the agent to put you on their list and to make sure they inform you if there is a problem that opens a window of opportunity to get the house. If you are passionate about it when you speak the agent, they will keep you in the loop so to speak.
If I could be of further assistance, please contact me direct. Good luck!
Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales/ e-Pro Realtor
Fillmore Real Estate
Office: (718) 252-2000/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
The best way to find the truly active, available listings - is to contact a real estate agent who has access to your local MLS (multiple listing service). All the information you find on these websites is pulled from there in some shape or form anyway (it's just not updated in real time).
Hope that helps!
Work with a Buyers Broker in the neighborhood that you want to buy into, then you will have a better chance of being ready as things come on the market.
Kathryn Lilly, Broker
Realty on the Greene, LLC
Trulia has a very big database, I'm sure it must be difficult for them to update every listing accurately. Especially of the person who put it up there does not do it.
Also, scroll down to the bottom and always try to find the listing agent or at least his/her broker. They will give you the most up to date information.
Do not call the "featured" agents as they will just try to reach the listing agents themselves after you have called and in the event they do not, they will tell you the house has been sold so that they could show you others and receive a bigger commission split.