If you are actively looking for a home to buy, you’re probably receiving email alerts that you’ve created yourself on some public-facing real estate site, such as Trulia.com, Zillow.com, COHomefinder.com, or our own site, www.GoldenHomeSearch.com.
No public-facing website, however, can provide the kind of alerts which any agent can set up for you.
That’s because no consumer web site gives you the opportunity to search on every MLS data field.
Several MLS fields have particular interest for consumers. Dog owners want to find homes with fenced yards. Horse owners want to find horse properties. People with allergies look for pet-free or smoke-free homes. Aging baby boomers favor homes with main-floor master suites. People with RV’s want to find homes with RV parking and no covenants. These are just a few of the fields that cannot be searched on consumer sites but which an MLS member like myself can search in setting up email alerts for you.
Another problem area is postal addresses. Let’s say that you want to buy a home in the City of Golden, not just a home with a Golden address. If you search for “Golden” on any consumer website, you’ll find over 130 active listings, but only 9 of them are in the City of Golden. The others simply have Golden addresses, ranging from upper Coal Creek Canyon in the north to Applewood in the east and Genesee in the west. No consumer website I’m aware of allows you to distinguish between listings with Golden addresses and listings that are actually in the city of Golden. The same can be said of Littleton and other postal addresses. Using Metrolist’s new and improved map search, however, it is not hard to set up searches which match the exact boundaries of Golden, Littleton or any other defined area — even non-contiguous areas.
Another difference between email alerts from consumer websites and those sent by MLS members is how quickly you receive them. Consumer websites will send you listings daily, but Metrolist can send new listings within 15 minutes of them going on the MLS. In our current market with very few listings, knowing about a listing instantly can get you into a home before other buyers.
Recently I became aware of a peculiar search problem on Zillow.com. I’m referring to searching for homes in Genesee, a foothills area with Golden addresses. Zillow, in its wisdom, thought it appropriate to create a non-existent city of Genesee, Colorado. You have to search “Genesee CO” to find any listings in that area, and if you search “Golden CO” you won’t find any Genesee listing. You can imagine how upset one of our sellers was when they searched for their Genesee home on Zillow using “Golden” and couldn’t find it. We have asked Zillow to correct this mistake, but so far no response.