Computers and smartphones have made it easier than ever for someone to view listings. Today’s buyer has viewed and researched many properties on line prior to physically visiting them. Many of the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) that brokerage firms use link up to such national sites as Realtor.com where individuals can view a listing and easily contact the broker directly, saving the step of viewing individual brokerage firms’ websites.
Some websites have such features as GPS that will pull up listings based on the present location. All of this technology feeds into society’s desire for instant gratification. However all these resources available to the buyer has its shortfalls. It gives a purchaser a false sense of security. There is not a universal nationally used MLS program. For example, Realtor.com lists all the listings from member firms of the National Association of Realtors (NARS) across the country.
Manhattan did away with NARS and formed the Real Estate Board of NY (REBNY). REBNY has its own Manhattan MLS, which the majority of Manhattan brokerage firms are members. However unlike other MLS across the country, Manhattan MLS will only show active listings for sale and not rental listings. It will not mention if a property is under contract or sold or how many days on the market.
Real Estate, in practice, is much more sophisticated than a cursory examination of the internet would lead one to believe.