There are a lot of sites out there advertising real estate for sale in Big Bear : Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo, CraigsList and numerous others. While the information these sites provide can be quite useful – such as valuations, buying and selling advice, school & neighborhood details, crime stats and more – most of them fall short when it comes to the accuracy of their listing data. It is not uncommon to find old, outdated listings on many of them.
As this Smart Money article points out, it is all about accuracy and saving time.
“this great migration online has come with a new set of obstacles, including errors, out-of-date information, and properties that are listed on the web but aren’t actually for sale all of which can add up to a handicap for buyers.”
The Problem :
As a buyer, you could be spending a lot of time looking at properties in Big Bear that are not even available. Wasting time is so lame. 🙂
Here’s the key question to find out when searching a real estate website for properties in Big Bear : Where are they getting their listing data from?
Many of the sites listed above get their data from advertisers (real estate agents). So, an advertiser puts the property on the site once the property is listed. That’s where the problem starts. Who is keeping track of this? What happens if it sells or the price drops? This lack of follow-up is where these sites run into trouble.
To get the most accurate info on real estate for sale in Big Bear, you need to find a site that gets all of its listed properties directly from the MLS, or Multiple Listing Service. The MLS is the database that local real estate agents use as their primary source to find and keep track of properties for sale. Now, nothing is 100% as it is subject to human error, but MLS listings are considered the most accurate in the industry. So, a direct MLS feed, updated at least daily, would be the best source of listings. If a property sells or the price changes in the MLS, it is reflected on the search site too (much more accurate).
Of the sites mentioned above, I believe Realtor.com is the only site that get all of its listing data from the MLS.
Big Bear is uniquely situated as we have a small MLS system that only local agents use. But, accuracy issues arise when real estate agents from out of the area, like Palm Springs, L.A., Orange County or Riverside, list properties for sale in Big Bear. Most of the time these agents do no put the listings into the Big Bear MLS. So, unless you search outside the Big Bear MLS, you won’t really know about it. You’ve got several MLSs out there with properties for sale in Big Bear, but you’d have to search all of them in order to get a clear picture of what is for sale in Big Bear.
The solution :
Find a Big Bear real estate website that gets a direct MLS feed from ALL of the surrounding MLSs and combines the data into one search – fortunately, we’ve set up our search site this way. If it’s for sale in Big Bear, it will show on our site. This makes searching for Big Bear real estate a lot easier, less time consuming, and much more accurate.