Buyers Beware: When Internet Information Can Be Scary

by Mike Yeo on March 5, 2011

It is undoubtedly that consumers have much more information at their finger tips today than they ever did. The Internet and power of search engines have revolutionize how we obtain information. Very powerful indeed. I wrote about how the role of an agent has evolved over time. You can read more about it here. Sometimes, having information in the wrong hands can be downright scary. Some of the recent examples that I come across:

Foreclosure websites:
ALL buyers these days want to look for THAT great foreclosure deal. Understandably so. Some websites even publish the addresses publicly. Wow! It took me a great while to explain to my client that sometimes, these websites may not have the correct information to begin with. And even if it did, the information may not be updated. These websites are not the bible, and only believe half of what you see. Why? These websites are merely out there to sell you information. These websites are not managed by companies that manage REO bank-owned properties.

Check out the screen shots below: (These were prepared for this specific discussion)

Note: 2 different websites were used. (1) is an infamous website whose logo has been blanked out to protect the innocent. And so is the address. (2) is the North Texas Real Estate Information System – used by realtors in region. But do believe that I am discussing the same information here.

On Screenshot #1: This property was sold on May 9th 2008 for $250,500. If you know anything about this community in the Frisco TX real estate market area, you will instantly think that it’s a STEAL at this price. I would buy this house too if it was listed at $250,000.

On Screenshot #2: This is the NTREIS realtor’s MLS system. It was listed and cancelled several times over the years. The most recent update is that it is temporary off the market. I called the listing agent and verified that this is true.

Now,

So much for the Internet and Information age, huh?

My advice: Take it for as much as it is worth to you. Honestly. You could get excited over some information on the internet such as the example above, but do not put your hopes too high.

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