Now the real fun begins. You should be receiving emailed listings from your agent by this time. Start picking properties out. If you’re using StartingPoint Realty (we can’t speak for other agencies), we give you as much control as you want. If you want to select all the listings to see, go for it. If you want to select most of the listings, but you also want us to throw in a few that we think you’d like, we can do that, too. If you want us to pick everything out (rarely happens), let us know. We tailor the search part to your preferences.
Your agent will schedule all the showings and be with you at each place you see. Take your time at each home. If you decide the ‘feel’ of the home is right, make sure you’re also looking at the furnace, roof, siding, basement walls, age of appliances, water heater, etc. You should be excited when you find the ‘one’, but you must also understand that this is a business decision. You have to know what the home is going to cost you down the road. Don’t worry, a solid agent in your corner will help you.
A note about the MLS. A Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is where real estate agents place their listings for other agents to see and share with their clients. There are several MLS’s throughout the country. In Chicago, ours is called MRED (Midwest Real Estate Data). The area spans Chicago out towards Kankakee, Marengo, and WI / IL border. It casts a big net. As a real estate agent that wants access to the listings in MRED, we have to pay a yearly fee (approx. $1,000 a year). Once an agent is licensed and joins a local board that gives them access to the listings in MRED, they are ready to go. How many residential agents belong to MRED in the Chicagoland area? About 99.8%. Therefore, about 99.8% of residential listings that are located in MRED’s boundaries are input into MRED. What does that mean to you? Whether you use a Coldwell Banker agent, StartingPoint Realty agent, or Century 21 agent, you will have access to any listing that’s listed by a real estate agent. So don’t get worried that you’ll only see your agent’s brokerage’s listings. Quite the opposite.