Which method do you use most often when you search the MLS for properties? Do you usually search by city name, or do you specify an area on the map?

Asked by Sheri A. Pellegrini, Saint Charles, IL Fri Jun 25, 2010

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Sharon Poisel, Agent, Schaumburg, IL
Sun Jun 27, 2010
Sheri:

They are both important and you need to keep on the MLS and the mapping company. Individual homeowners have been going through this for years, as well as being told their property must be located in one particular town due to zip code, when the zip code is correct but the town vs mailing address causes conflict. If it is in Campton Hills, then it is in Campton Hills...now dealing with the mapping company could be a whole different animal and there may be more to that change than any of us know.

Perhaps agents in different areas use mapping differently. I use it all the time and many of the agents I know utilize it regularly. And more importantly, clients use it since most real estate sites have capability. So, if you cater to our mapping, it could end up a problem on other sites. I would stick with the correct address and work on MRED mapping.
1 vote
Cindy Straho…, , 60174
Fri Jun 25, 2010
Hi Sheri,

I think a good agent will search a variety of ways and much of that depends on the buyer and their priorities. Often times, it takes some dialog with the buyer, or even showing them some homes to see what they love or not in order to find out what is important to them. Sometimes the things they say are important fall further down the list when other things move their way UP the list. So the search parameters depend on the needs of the client.
But as far as the actual search, I start with a search of an MLS area by number but then also will search by school district, or lot size or age of home. I usually use a map search (the rubber band search) when a client needs to be within a certain distance of something specific like a relative or perhaps their workplace.
Spelling out the city may leave some homes out of your search because there may be variations in how the name is entered. For example: St. Charles, Saint Charles, St Charles, StCharles...you get the point? But if I enter 60174 in the zip code field (not the area) I will get only homes in the "incorporated" area of St. Charles. If I enter 60175 in the zip code I will get unincorporated St. Charles. These are nuances of the MLS that most good agents are familiar with.
Another important note, be sure your listing agent is accurate in entering all the information in the MLS in order for your property to be returned in the search results. Even in the remarks section be sure your agent includes key features (or key words) of the property because many agents will search the remarks for key words like; "screened porch" or "perennial" garden. Accurate spelling is important too. If your agent misspells perennial (and many do!) it won't come up.
1 vote
Rich Homer, Agent, NAPLES, FL
Sun Jul 11, 2010
I like subdivision name here in Naples Florida. But if you do not know the area, you will do better finding Realtors that do. Are you looking for lots for sale?
0 votes
Mott Marvin…, Agent, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
Sun Jun 27, 2010
It depends on a few things- I usually search by subdivision name, condominium name or address. The inventory listed can be tricky to find if the person entering the listing leaves certain fields blank.

I often isolate an area on the map to cover a specific territory.
0 votes
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Sat Jun 26, 2010
city name, within 20 miles. Much more than that is further away than I prefer to drive to town.

the only problem is that realtor.com thinks that 40 miles away IS 20 miles away.
0 votes
Brandon Schu…, Agent, Western Springs, IL
Sat Jun 26, 2010
I'm assuming you're a member of the MRED. I, myself have had to call them in the past. The mapping is wrong on many locations. I think they hire a 3rd party company for the mapping searches. But honestly, unless it's a new subdivision, I'm not sure how many people use the mapping.

Good Luck.
0 votes
Sheri A. Pel…, , Saint Charles, IL
Sat Jun 26, 2010
You all have identified important issues that I wasn't even considering! Thank you! The reason I asked the question is because the MLS mapping service is unable to locate the property at issue, unless it is listed as being in Elburn. But, this property (See http://www.OakHillsCt.com) is located in Campton Hills. It was in unicorporated St. Charles until 2007, when Campton Hills was incorporated. I am an attorney, and I'm negotiating with MRED to try to prove that the property is in Campton Hills, not Elburn, despite the mailing address. So, which is more important? Is it important to get the town name right? Or, is it more important to get the map right?
0 votes
Brandon Schu…, Agent, Western Springs, IL
Sat Jun 26, 2010
I will normally 1st start by searching what's important to the buyer. That will usually be area and price. If that search brings up a lot of listings then we may start narrowing the search criteria. But we can get pretty detailed if we need to. Number of bedrooms and baths, size of garage, type of flooring, school district, etc.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sat Jun 26, 2010
City names, zip codes, maps, school districts, etc., are all utilized in conducting a search, based on the specific individual(s) and their wants and needs.
0 votes
Sharon Poisel, Agent, Schaumburg, IL
Sat Jun 26, 2010
There are as many ways searches are done as there are agents in the MLS...but Cindy has nailed it on the head!

She has set up the profile of a good to great agent and, if you and your agent follow her advice on making sure all the fields/remarks are filled out and properly, you will have the best success in reaching all agents you possibly can.

We sometimes see listings that are lucky to have at least the address and basics (bedrooms, baths etc) showing and pretty much nothing in the fields that are not "required" to have something in them. That type of mistake puts the seller at a huge disadvantage when an agent is searching for something other than location and the basics. And, you might be surprised at how adamant a buyer can be over a non-basic feature.

And, don't forget to pay attention to how your listing shows on internet sites since that is where approximately 90% of buyers start their search and they want pictures..more pictures..and more pictures. This has become the "Open House" of choice since it runs 24/7/365.

We may have gone further down the avenue than your question intended, but I hope the info helps.
0 votes
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