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When searching for a home in Charleston, go local

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Bret Nida Bret Nida
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Bret Nida is a real estate agent based in Charleston. To learn more about Charleston real estate or read his blog, visit netbret.com.  

Major real estate searching sites convey to home-buyers and sellers that they are the source for home values or homes for sale in the Charleston real estate market. This is the furthest from the truth and the amount of mis-valued homes, outdated listings and misguided advice from "pro" Realtors outside of our market is detrimental to our local housing. All markets are different and using any tech-savvy local Realtor's website is the solution to get current homes that are for sale, accurate home value opinions and LOCAL expertise about your real estate needs.

Have you ever searched the Internet for an answer or explanation to an injury or sickness that might be ailing you? If you have, you have probably diagnosed yourself with a slew of sicknesses that will make your head spin. That is until a voice of reason says, "Hey, you should really speak with your local physician; the Internet is not somewhere you can find an accurate diagnosis!" Now let's use this as an analogy for real estate. Have you ever searched online through a major real estate site, such as Zillow or Trulia and tried to find a value of your home or perhaps one you are trying to buy in the Charleston real estate market? If you have, you have probably called or emailed about a house that sold six months ago or wasn't even for sale or typed in your homes address to find that your home's value is $30,000 less (or sometimes more) than what your homes value truly is on the local scale. As a Realtor in Charleston, W.Va., I used to "buy in" to these national sites, for they received tons of Internet traffic and to represent my clients best, I would advertise on them to get exposure for their home. However, after numerous times of having to explain to a home-buyer about a home that was no longer for sale or sitting down at the table with someone interested in listing their home for sale and telling them the "Zestimate" of their home is not accurate, I have "opted out" and encourage others to do the same.

The Charleston real estate market is different than any other market in the nation. Drilling down a little further, neighborhoods in Charleston are different than neighborhoods in Cross Lanes or even Hurricane. Why? Because no one market or neighborhood is the same, nor is the data we local real estate agents use to market our homes for sale or reported homes that have sold. These differences on a macro and micro-level scale are too complex for some company based in Seattle (Zillow) or San Francisco (Trulia) to give accurate and relevant information to those needing it the most, local buyers and local sellers. I will give the sites credit for having a lot of bells and whistles that make them so alluring. They do have top programmers making their site seem to be "the source" by getting Realtors to "buy in" to being the "pro" in any given zip code. They make millions, so why wouldn't their site have all the bells and whistles? However, beyond the bells and whistles are inaccurate statistics which does have a trickle down effect on home buyers' opinions on a home, which then affects the sales value of the area.

If you are searching for a home sale in Charleston and want to find homes that are actually active for sale, or you are considering listing your home for sale and want to get an accurate listing price for your home, consult a local Realtor. For the most part, any local agent's website will have all homes for sale and not outdated information. Our source of current information is the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). When we list a home for sale, the majority of the time it must go to the local source (MLS) to be put on the market. When a house sells, we have to record the sale to the MLS. When we gather data about ones home value, we go to the MLS to gather accurate and current sales data. Therefore, the MLS is your most accurate source of information.

Thinking of buying or selling in Charleston? Go local.