You are browsing through listings on Realtor.com. You know, just for fun.
And it happens, a home appears on the screen that may be “It”.
Hesitant to call and schedule an appointment, you fill out the “tell me more about this property” form in hopes the listing agent will send along some special tid bits of information on that listing.
Well, sadly, as it is with much of what we find on the World Wide Web, this contact form is not going to give you what or whom you are expecting.
The “tell me more about this property” form is not to provide you, the consumer, a service. This “form” is instead a tool Realtor.com uses to make additional money by charging agents for buyer leads (even on their own listings). Your contact information is passed on to someone who has paid for “your lead” and may not to the agent associated with that listing.
If Realtors and brokerages choose not to pay the monthly fee, inquiries on our own listings are randomly distributed to those willing to pay a fee for leads.
So, how can you get more information on the property from the listing agent who actually has direct connection to the sellers and has taken the time to “learn the house”? Scroll almost all of the way down the property information page to the section entitled “Listing Provider”. There you will find the Listing Agent’s name. Since I have a profile all set up, you just need to click on Jen McMorran and that link will bring you to my agent page with all of my contact information. I’d then be happy to send along any information I have (as I am sure any list agent would!!)
Real estate websites absolutely play a vital role in marketing properties and reaching the most consumers. I just feel it is so important for consumers to understand how these sites work. If you are directed to an agent does not understand a property (or projects like our new construction), you as a buyer run the risk of being misadvised and/or missing out. (Sadly I had this happen to two buyers this past spring when our Flynn Terrace townhomes were selling so fast. Those two buyers missed out and a third had a pretty stressful transaction as they used the random agent assigned through Realtor.com to represent them.)
So, if you don’t have an agent and want “more information” from a source who actually has it, scroll down to the Listing Provider section. If you do already have a relationship with an agent, give them a call and let them know you think you may have found the “one”. They can then make the calls for you.
Real Estate transactions can be stressful enough… no need to make them more stressful. Rely on the listing agent who knows the property best for more information or call the agent who knows you and your needs the best!