One of the initial steps I take when working with a new buyer is creating a personalized "portal" for them in the MLS. A portal is an automated personalized search of active listings currently available in the local market and a cooperative listing pool of all the agents who work in the Colorado Springs market. With your input, your agent can set your "search preferences". Typical choices are: price, location, school district, lot size and floor plan. It is possible to be very specific but I generally encourage my clients to keep the search criteria as broad as possible so they have more choices emailed to them. The system will automatically send to you the consumer "listings" or homes on the market that match your criteria. The system will notify you regarding changes in the status of the properties that meet your needs. Your agent can set the "delivery" preferences to notify you about new homes anywhere from immediately as they are posted, once a day or once a week or month. Generally when I work with an out of town client we set the preferences to several times a week. The benefit a portal offers is familiarizing a consumer with the styles, costs, views and construction type in the Colorado Springs real estate market even from another state.
Once the system begins to send you listings and you get familiar with how it works, you can ask your agent to update the settings. The system allows you to mark properties as favorites and to discard properties that you want to identify. Your agent can see which properties you designate and perhaps begin to get a better feel for your personal taste.
As you get closer to buying you may alter how often you receive properties to an "immediate status". When you, the consumer, see a home on the portal you want to view you can notify your agent.
The agent will then set a showing appointment. He will need to call, or go online to make an appointment to access the seller's home through the listing agent. Most listings require at least a one hour showing notice because sellers may have pets, children or they need to turn on lights and set things up for the showing. The agent will need to wait for the approval. If you are seeing more than one property your agent will map a route and set times for each of the property showing "windows" or allowed time in the property by the seller. Most showing windows are one hour.
If you have questions about this blog or any other real estate issues please contact me.