Online searching is the superior way of finding the right house, far surpassing print ads, newspapers and magazines, since a search can be so specific and immediate. You may have noticed that not all websites and certainly not all Realtors are the same. Clue: Joe helps. When you find a property you want to tour, call Joe. Here’s a quick rundown of some options for searching Chicago area MLS (Multiple Lisitng Service) databases:
Automated searches for Priority Clients (those who have signed an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent Agreement) are specific to any field in the Realtor’s MLS, including limiting to properties within a rectangular area on a map or with keywords in the description (for example, architect, features such as “terrazzo” or “travertine” or “clerestory windows”, only homes with a fireplace or pool, waterfront or golf course homes, or any such very specific criteria). Listings will come to you automatically via email on a twice-daily, daily, or weekly basis. This is the best tool for the fastest updates specific to your criteria. This option is for you if are ready to buy when the right property comes on the market and when your specific criteria can be pinpointed in the MLS field options based on features and location. Call Joe for more details.
Custom searches by Joe Kunkel for Priority Clients are the most focused, since they can be restricted to homes which are specific to your criteria including architectural style, condition, and can cover multiple geographic regions, etc. Joe weeds through the listings for you one-by-one. This option can give you advance notice before properties even come on the market and is your ticket if are ready to buy. Listings will come to you via email on a frequent basis. A Mortgage Pre-Approval letter is required. Call Joe for more details.
Register for Baird & Warner’s free HomeFinder MLS search tool to search most brokers’ listings (with some limitations). To give you this access, the local MLS requires you to register with your info and a password (you choose it). Specify your own search criteria including area, price range, and number of bedrooms and baths. Change your criteria anytime you want. Mark your favorites and watch the market at your leisure. This searches the active MLS database and shows when properties have price changes or when they go under contract. However, you cannot restrict this search to architectural style, and if searching within the city of Chicago, you have to know which neighborhood name in the MLS system to pick (the MLS area names don’t always match up with commonly known neighborhood names, so contact Joe for an MLS map). Sign up and start searching immediately at www.bairdwarner.com/joe.kunkel
Realtor.com, ChicagoTribune.com, Zillow.com and other such websites:
Great, free accessible websites without registration, but they are less frequently updated, searches can’t be as specific, and the listings don’t display as much information. This type of search sometimes shows properties which are already under contract as being currently for sale, which is a source of great frustration. These are useful tools for general market education and entertainment, but when buying and selling, are not the best MLS search tools available, in Joe’s opinion.