Today, clearly the best tools are the Multiple Listing Service and the Internet. Real estate agents use websites to list not only their own listings, but almost every listing on their Multiple Listing Service as well. Many agents will go to great lengths to make sure their website is the most comprehensive and the most useful, for potential buyers in each market they sell in. Their goal is for their website to be the first choice for buyers as well as a valuable resource. These sites can generate leads by drawing the buyers to their website as opposed to spending money on expansive brick and mortar offices which are proving to be cost prohibited in this very modern world.
When an agent posts his/her listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the listing is posted on websites all over the Internet, at no cost. Individual real estate agents and sometimes real estate companies have websites that pick up the listing. Also real estate specific sites such as REALTOR.com, Zillow, Trulia, show the listing. General search engines, Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., also pick up the listing from these sites. An Internet Display feed, also called an IDX, allows real estate brokers and agents to display listings from all companies who belong to the same multiple listing services.
So, bottom line is that all listings get a ton of exposure though the Internet regardless of what company a home is listed for sale with. Usually buyer’s agents from a different brokerage, sell an agent’s listing. The buyer’s agent job is to help their clients purchase a home. The buyer views a home on the Internet, either through a broker’s website or a general website like Trulia. Next the buyer contacts their agent to view the homes they are interested in. A buyer purchases a home based on whether or not it is the right home for them and their family with their agent’s guidance. A buyer does not purchase a house because it is listed by a particular broker.
Many agents do double end and sell their own listings when the opportunity falls in place. Most often they do not. Every agent is able to market a website of their own in hopes of collecting leads and of acting as a buyer's agent for as many properties as possible, whether the property is their own listing or another agent’s listing.
In conclusion, the important thing to realize is at the end of the day the public can list a home with any real estate company that engages in broker reciprocity and their home will get maximum exposure. In fact many times a home listed with another company will be found on one of our agent's websites though again if not on one of ours it will just as easily be found one someone else’s. For a listing to receive maximum exposure, via the Internet, it makes little difference what company it is listed with. The truth of the matter is real estate websites that allow you to search for homes are built to create buyer leads for agents but as an indirect result provide a great deal of exposure for all listings with their local multiple listing services.
Today, the Internet is where the vast majority of people are searching for homes. The Internet is a valuable tool, but it is an agent’s knowledge of their local real estate market, combined their negotiation skills that are the most important factors to consider when choosing an agent. Almost any agent can provide Internet exposure for the listing of your property, but it is the agent who is experienced in your community, who will provide the best overall service.