July 01, 2013 — Austin

There are many sources homebuyers can turn to find homes for sale in their area, but not all of them may be trustworthy. A recent analysis of multiple real estate industry reports from the Texas REALTORS® revealed that home listing sources vary widely in reliability, with real estate portal websites providing significantly less accurate data than data offered by real estate professionals.

According to a 2012 Redfin study conducted by the WAV Group, over 1 in 3 homes (36%) listed on a real estate portal website are no longer available and inaccurate listing prices varied by 20% or more. In addition, these websites were found on average to be missing 20% of the available homes within an area and to post new home listings seven to nine days later than when they were actually listed for sale.

Shad Bogany, chairman of the Texas REALTORS®, commented, “Texas is home to some of the fastest-selling housing markets in the country, so it is crucial that real estate sources to provide the most up-to-date, accurate and complete information possible to avoid disappointments in the home buying process. In housing markets like ours, a one-week delay makes a big difference in decision-making for homebuyers and sellers.”

Conversely, the study showed that multiple listing service (MLS) systems – to which portal websites do not subscribe – and brokerage websites contained 100% of an area’s available housing listings on average. Most all local MLS systems offer real time data for homeowners and brokerage websites are updated with current listing information as often as every 15 minutes.

Chairman Bogany explained, “MLS data is the most accurate home listings information available, updated by local Realtors who have expert knowledge of and experience working in their housing market. That’s why Texas REALTORS® rely on it when searching for the right home for their clients.”

A 2012 study by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) showed that 51% of homebuyers listed finding the right home as one of the most difficult parts in the home buying process. However, 41% of homebuyers stated that the most difficult steps come after a home is selected, including paperwork (26%), understanding the process (13%) and getting a mortgage (13%). Real estate professionals, who according to NAR have an average 13 years of industry experience, are the only industry resource who can navigate homeowners through these steps in purchasing a home.

Chairman Bogany concluded, “There are more ways than ever in which people can look for a new home, but when it comes to actually making a purchase, only a Texas REALTOR® can ensure that process is a successful one. A home is the most important purchase we will make in our lifetime – you have to know who you can trust.”