Preliminary Search (Buyer)
Once you wrap up the consultation with your agent, they will start searching for properties. In our Edmonton area market, the primary tool we use is the MLS (Multi Listing Service) system. There is a public side of this called REALTOR.ca and there is the private side, which we often refer to as the “back end” of the MLS system.
The world of home searching has changed a lot in the last number of years as more and more information has become available online.
Quick flash back: Back in the age of dinosaurs, there was a book (ok, not dinosaurs, but it’s been a LONG time since this was the case). This book was printed once a week and given to all the Real Estate Agents in Edmonton and that’s how their clients would find homes. Crazy right?
Anyway, it used to be that searching for homes was a pretty one-sided thing, but it has become super-collaborative now and your Real Estate Agent’s job is not so much to find the house by themselves, but to leverage the tools at their disposal to make it more convenient for you. Our value is really more in walking you through the process and interpreting information.
The Collaboration Centre
The Edmonton and area real estate system features this fun little tool called Collaboration Centre. After the consultation, your agent will go back to their office, plug in a whole lot of data points (things you are searching for) see what kinds of results come up, tweak the search if necessary, and then set up what’s called an “Auto-Search.” Auto-Search will send all the listings that meet your criteria to your own private website, aka, the Collaboration Centre. In the Collaboration Centre you can mark listings as favorites, possibilities, or rejects. You can also leave notes for your agent and your agent can leave notes for you.
There are some other tools we can use if we don’t see what you’re looking for in more traditional search places. Or, if you’re looking for a new build or something outside of what’s on the MLS system, there can be more intensive searching and calling around to builders and the like involved.
You can still look online at property too. Checking out realtor.ca or soldedmonton.com search tools is something a lot of clients enjoy. Personally, I don’t get it. Probably because it’s work to me. But you definitely can if you want! Just keep in mind that it’s less efficient and if you’re finding anything outside of the search parameters, you may drift off track. And if you think your “track” is shifting, make sure to have a conversation with your agent so they can adjust the search and their overall plan for you. Communication is vital!
Next Step: The Education Tour!
Once you start finding properties you like, the next step is the Education Tour where you go view some homes. Check out the Education Tour blog for more details.