November 19, 2004

Curious George: Realtor listings. I'm looking at land on Is there any way I can pull up expanded listings at 1 a.m. without having to wait until morning for a Realtor(TM) to intervene? I'm sitting here trying to shop for rural properties, and I have all the maps I need, but I have to deal with their sucky website that doesn't give expanded listings, and thus won't show directions or location of most rural properties. Anyone ever get around this hurdle from the comfort of home?
  • Nope, and I have spent many hours looking. The best I've been able to get is, sometimes there is a 'picture' of the land, and that 'picture' is a crude map and SOMETIMES there is a tiny bit of good information on that crude map, say, on it you can see that the property is near the intersection of two streets and you can see the name of the streets and then google to the rescue...
  • Well, sure, but I work at my local Association of Realtors. What you can get is dependent on the rules of your local association, but chances are that Realtors don't really want you getting all of the information, because it makes them less useful. Sure, they still do the grunt work, but they'd like encourage you to come to them as soon as possible, for obvious reasons.
  • And, reading through your post a little close, see if your local association has its own MLS that is web searchable. Or, specifically, the MLS for wherever you want to move. It's not necessarily going to get you anything, but our association is pretty good, so we have stuff.
  • I don't know, but whatever you do, when you say the word aloud or to yourself, please pronounce it: REAL-TOR. There is no "a" in the middle. Seriously. /pet peeve
  • ha! amen, iguana. my mom's a Realtor. her vanity plate says REELTOR to help people remember that. oh and mom says the internet is tricky for MLS listings because they change so quickly. she's always getting email from buyers asking about stuff that's still online despite having been sold several days earlier.
  • Y'know what I've been interested in? A study of the realtor headshots they use. It's like they all go to the same photo place, or wear the same clothes. And there are hundreds of thousands of them. surely someone has wasted some not-insignificant portion of thier life to review and comment on that? maybe I'll try . . .
  • Our web site is built dynamically from the MLS, so it instantly updates the houses as their status changes. If you have to maintain the site yourself by hand, then there will be a bit of a lag. Oh, and while we're on the subject, I suppose I should point out that technically it's REALTOR(R), as REALTOR(R) is a registered trademark, so always has to be in full caps with the (R) at the end. Blah blah blah. If you're interest in a house in the Charlottesville area, or you want to see what a web-based MLS system can be, feel free to check out our site. Mind you, I work on a publication, and am not directly related to the whole REALTOR(R) system, but I am close to it.
  • Oh, forgot to mention: Realtor head-shots are, on average, about 30 years old. Generally, they try to use something from high school or college. Which is odd, because young people are generally not trusted as realtors, because they seem inexperienced, but the realtors themselves don't like to use current head-shots. Personally, if I met with a realtor who is suddenly 25 years older than his or her picture, I'd be a little suspicious.