Finding the perfect new home in a market as active and fast-moving as this region can be tricky and even finding the properties to visit can be an uphill battle. For many, this first step can be extremely intimidating. There are so many places to start the search for a house for sale in the Bay Area, and each offers benefits and drawbacks.
National listing sites have a few benefits going for them. The biggest benefit is breadth, national sites aren’t limited to a specific agency’s listings, but represents a wide swath of the market. This can be a great way to get an overview of the market, what kind of listings are available and general price ranges, but usually isn’t a great way to find a specific home to purchase. These sites often are updated more slowly than a buyer may expect, leaving a large portion of the market that never reaches the site’s listings. Additionally, for those properties that do show up, they often aren’t taken down in a timely fashion, leading to a lot of run-around and dead ends.
Sites for specific agencies or professionals usually have more up to date information, but still, have the problem of a number of properties never being listed online before they’re sold. Additionally, a person would have to check every agency operating in the region to get a full listing of all properties, which would be a lot more work than they’d likely prefer to do. Local sites are likely to have more specialized knowledge of the area and be able to provide more local information. However, these sites often have lower quality requirements for photographs and listing information.
Real Estate Agent
Working directly with a real estate agent gives one access to listings as early as possible, as they are often able to access listings for houses for sale in the Bay Area as soon as they’re listed or sometimes even before. This gives them a little more of an edge in finding the right home. They can also determine the current status of a listing very quickly so there should be few cases of investing too much time in a property that’s already been sold. They also have the most updated information on the neighborhoods, trends, schools, and other important factors in selecting a property.
The downsides to working directly with an agent are few, but each one may specialize in a particular area, so coverage of a large region may not work quite so well. Also, an agent will need to understand the buyer’s requirements, as well as they do, in order to quickly eliminate unsatisfactory properties and get the plausible ones to them quickly. Another small downside is that an agent will be motivated to move them through the process, so buyers who are just browsing may find the agent to be somewhat pushy, depending on individual presentation.